Singapore introduces voluntary food safety standards in e-commerce for the first time in the world


The Grocery E-Commerce Guidelines were developed by a working group composed of a government agency, industry associations and private sector stakeholders.

moving with the times

There has been an uptick in the supply and demand of groceries via e-commerce – as more brick-and-mortar grocery stores went online.

However, different product safety practices have been identified on different e-commerce platforms. The working group saw the need for “a shared understanding of industry best practices for managing online sales of grocery products.​”

The publication and enactment of this standard would raise industry standards and guide food business operators to achieve better transparency, traceability and accountability when selling food online.

“Additionally, consumers would be empowered to make more informed purchasing decisions by purchasing from companies that have implemented these practices and have greater food safety assurances.“Dr. Tan Lee Kim, Director-General, Food Administration and Deputy CEO of the Singapore Food Agency added.

The guidelines also expressed the government’s intention to continue to support businesses in the transition to selling online.

Matt Kovac, CEO of Food Industry Asia (FIA), revealed: “It will provide food business operators with a practical set of voluntary e-commerce guidelines that can be applied to improve current processes to ensure food safety while not stifling innovation​.”

What does the policy include

Given the different operating models in the grocery e-commerce space, the guidelines focused on the key stages that could be critical to food safety, namely: food company/vendor onboarding process, at point of e-commerce sale, delivery at the last mile , point of delivery and traceability and product recall.

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