With the rising affluence in South East Asia, Singapore wants to be the centre of the hub in the food disruption and plant-based space.
As a nation becomes more affluent, the increase in meat consumption and processed foods is clearly predictable. The level of food waste also dramatically increases.
So why should governments care?
From a health and environmental perspective this rise can be drastic. For example, the chronic diseases in many of the western nations are plague proportions, this not only impacts the well-being of the citizens but is also the large health burden for the national budget.
The environmental consequences are equal if not worse. If developing nations adopt the food consumption patterns of Australia or the US, this significantly impacts; climate change, clean water supply, deforestation, pollution in rivers and sustainable oceans.
Based on these indicators and public sentiment, the Singapore institutions are considering an alternate narrative.
Farming, innovation, food security, food waste, supply chain, trade and ecology are topics being woven together with all items related to food.
With the world population expected to rise to 9 billion people by 2050, and the expected increase in meat consumption rising to 70% with changing food habits; something has to change.
Many in the world realise the large population of China (1.3 billion) and India (1.2 billion). However, most have yet grasp the ASEAN countries have a combined population of 625 million. When we add Japan and Korea to ASEAN – they are about 800 Million.
Food and sustainability is a hot topic in many central governments. Unlike the 3-5 year planning cycles in western democracies, China and Singapore make plans for 50 - 100 years. They see food as a critical issue.
On the 17th of June, a Disruption in Food & Sustainability Seminar was held in Singapore. This event was held in collaboration by a body called Kampung Senang who hold the annual Green Healthy and Lifestyle Expo in Singapore.
Different experts covered a range of topics in the six major areas:
The Chair of the Alliance for Responsible Futures, George Jacobs, provided some valuable insight into the opening address. We have always had a form of food disruption.
Whale fat was used as a night light before oil was discovered. George Washington used elephant tusks for his teeth. Insulin used to be from millions of pigs and cows before being derived synthetically. A combination of Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus aided in creating a farming revolution in the 20th century.
What will food disruption look like in the 21st century?
This chapter is being written…
Before we wrap up this piece you may be wondering why Bob Ratnarajah attended this summit:
- With Beta Catalyst Consulting, we enable a good business to be greater, to change the world sooner. We represented a few Australian brands getting ready to launch in Asia.
- To connect and potentially collaborate with grassroots plant-based businesses
- Meet plant-based leaders from the ASEAN region, inspiring the change.
By all measures, this trip was a success.