Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) what measures has the Ministry taken to diversify the sources of popular seafood and vegetable items ahead of major festivities; (b) whether existing measures have helped mitigate the rise in the costs of such items; and (c) whether more can be done to keep prices affordable for consumers.
Oral Answer (to be attributed to Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling)
1. The Government has been actively diversifying our food supply sources. Most of our top vegetable and seafood imports are well diversified with over 10 source countries, which include China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, various European countries, United States, United Kingdom, Canada and even Ecuador. This has helped to strengthen the resilience of our seafood and vegetable supplies.
2. Nevertheless, prices of popular food items tend to rise ahead of festive periods because of a surge in demand. Retailers and importers would try to mitigate this by planning ahead and securing more supplies from multiple sources.
3. Apart from the diversification of food import sources, the Government continues to work with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) to promote consumer awareness and help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.