Public-private partnership develops new standard to further ensure safety,
freshness, quality, and availability of vegetables for Singapore.
The maintenance of the cold chain is important for preserving the safety, freshness, shelf life, and quality of unpreserved vegetables, while reducing wastage arising from spoilage throughout the supply chain.
The food industry, together with AVA and SPRING Singapore, has jointly developed a new Singapore Standard (SS) for the cold chain management of vegetables. The introduction of this SS follows industry feedback as well as updates from new references and procedures adopted as best practices regionally.
The maintenance of the cold chain is important for preserving the safety, freshness, shelf life, and quality (including nutritional value and sensory characteristics) of unpreserved vegetables, while reducing wastage arising from spoilage throughout the supply chain.
This is especially crucial for Singapore, where more than 90 percent of this fresh produce is imported. For the industry, adoption of this SS will bring about fresher and higher quality vegetables that can command a higher value in the market.
A panel discussion on the new Singapore Standard was held as part of the launch of SS 585: 2013, with representatives from AVA, SPRING Singapore, Singapore Fruits & Vegetables Importer & Exporter Association, NTUC FairPrice Cooperative Ltd, Ban Choon Marketing Pte Ltd, and GS1 Singapore Ltd.
Named SS 585: 2013, the new standard is a revision of the previous technical reference (TR) for cold chain management of vegetables (TR 24: 2007*). It covers major supply links starting from the farm to the packing house, transportation, distribution, wholesale centre and retail. Guidelines on the processes of harvesting, pre-cooling, processing, storing, distribution, and retailing are also included. Growers, importers, logistics providers, retailers, and seaport/airport ground handling parties are recommended to adopt this standard, which has been approved by the Singapore Standards Council.
At the official launch of the SS 585: 2013 on 27 September 2013, AVA presented an overview of the new standards to an audience comprising farmers, retailers, and logistics providers.
SPRING Singapore will be working towards obtaining international recognition and adoption of these standards from the International Standards Organisation (ISO). With successful adoption at the ISO level, Singapore food exporters using these stringent cold chain standards will stand to gain by being recognised for their professional levels of safety and handling.
ABOUT THE TR24: 2007
*TR 24: 2007 was prepared in 2007 by a Working Group that was led by AVA and comprised members from the Singapore Fruits and Vegetables Importer and Exporters Association, vegetable supply chain industry, retailers, and logistic companies. It was widely used by farmers, exporters, and importers of vegetables both locally and in Indonesia.