Singapore is rapidly becoming the food technology hub of Asia, due to the backing of the government at every stage of the process.
Startups from all over the globe have set up business in this city in order to take advantage of the generous public funding. One such company is &ever, a vertical farming initiative based in Germany.
High Demand for Food Factory in Singapore
“Singapore is an appealing market” for the firm, according to CEO Henner Schwarz, because of the country’s high population density and the government’s emphasis on food security. “As of now, Singapore is widely regarded as having the world’s most sophisticated indoor vertical farming environment, and &ever is delighted to be a part of this development.”
&ever has established vertical farms in its own country as well as across the Middle East and North Africa. As they run up the walls of factories and other structures, they are illuminated by artificial light.
This year, &ever will build a plant and research and development center in Singapore, with the goal of producing 500 tons of veggies and herbs each year. The Economic Development Board has provided assistance in a variety of ways, including locating a place for the facility, and the Singapore Food Agency is giving financial assistance via financial subsidies.
Eat Just, a company based in the United States, stated in October that it and a consortium will invest up to $120 million to construct and run a mung bean protein factory in this country for the production of egg replacements. Product will be sent to Asian markets such as China, Thailand, and South Korea, among other places.
Eat Just said in December that it has acquired clearance from the Singaporean government to sell lab-grown chicken meat, making it the world’s first company to do so. It is now being sold to a local restaurant by the firm that manufactures it.
Business Friendly Environment for Food Factory
According to Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO, the government has created a business-friendly atmosphere for his company with more food factories coming on board like Food fab at Mandai.
According to Tetrick, who is referring to intellectual property, “Singapore has strong IP rights protection as well as a highly skilled talent pool,” and the country is strategically located as a central location in the network of greater Asia that intake more animal protein than any other region on the planet.
The government’s assistance does not stop with the manufacturing and sale of goods. Artificial light will be used to improve agricultural yields, according to plans for &ever’s R&D center, which will collaborate with public and commercial partners to perform collaborative research.
One of the partners, the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research, has committed to collaborate with state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings to construct a Food Technology Innovation Center.
The facility will be equipped with labs and test kitchens for entrepreneurs that do not currently have access to such resources. According to Temasek, the initiative aims to speed the commercialization of breakthrough food technology in Singapore.
Backing from Government for Food Proccessing
The government’s backing for food technology has already started to nourish a thriving local business. It was staged in November by Shiok Meats, a firm founded by two female academics, to showcase its cell-based lobster flesh and previously created lab-grown shrimp meat, which the company claims is the world’s first.
The more established food technology industries in the United States and Europe benefit from a large pool of university researchers as well as a large inflow of venture capital funding. Singapore has positioned food technology as a significant sector worthy of assistance from state agencies from the research and development stage all the way through to market entrance and sales in order to play catch-up.
Singapore’s national safety review criteria for novel foods include a section on cultured meat, which is expressly addressed in the guidelines. This is the first time that Eat Just’s guilt-free chicken meat has been approved. The manufacturing process was scrutinized and dangers were identified as part of the thorough screening procedure.
For Singapore, putting up a framework and a committee of specialists to monitor the clearance process for fake meat represents a huge step forward.
Singapore is attempting to overcome a scarcity of arable land and almost treble its food self-sufficiency to 30 percent of its total food production by 2030. Urban farming and synthetic meat are considered to be potential alternatives.
In order to establish itself as Asia’s food technology powerhouse, the city-state is committing significant financial and personnel resources to the endeavor. According to Temasek, the globe would need 40 percent more food by 2050 in order to feed a growing population of 7 billion people.
Nonetheless, agricultural and animal products require significant quantities of water and are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Food technology offers the potential to reduce the environmental effect of agriculture while still meeting future demand.
For the time being, the most significant problem for food technology is getting costs down. According to Shiok Meats, the cost of producing a single kilogram of lab-grown shrimp flesh is around $5,000 USD.
It hopes to reduce costs to 1 percent of this figure by 2022, allowing it to bring the product to market sooner rather than later.