Green Plan 2030 Dialogue- Augustine Tan

Savour!’s 4th Webinar, “Singapore’s Green Plan Dialogue 2030 - Sourcing Food Sustainably” was an enriching session with our 5 honored panelists. In this blogpost feature, we will be diving into sharing more information about Augustine Tan, one of our panelists as well as the key quotes he brought up in the webinar that serves as valuable takeaways for readers like you. 

Augustine Tan is the Founder of UglyFood. The company campaigns for a zero food waste ecosystem by selling excess or ugly produce, their own branded products, and sustainably sourced goods.

When asked about his views on the Green Plan Dialogue 2030 and what sustainability means to him, here’s what he said.

“Sourcing food sustainably for me has always had a lot of factors, definitely 100% local is always the best because then we do not have to rely on any external parties. Being in the trade industry, diversifying food sources is important, but maintaining relationships is important too. 

Singapore is a large importer and can represent the entire demand for some. We still do not compare to the demand of larger countries like China, but we still have to import because of the shortage of local supply. We are a rich country and do not feel the impact as much. The average citizen in Singapore has a lot more buying power than other countries. It is a good plan to start sourcing sustainably by ramping up local production. 

There are 3 important factors in this, Sustainable organizations, Government Policies and individuals doing their part to achieve this goal.”

Q. How, why and what is UglyFood’s role in creating a sustainable Singapore when it comes to food?

Ans. We specialise in the fruits and vegetables area, not in meat and seafood yet. We mostly aim to educate people about what ugliness is edible and what is not, what is surface damage and what is rotten. Most of the wastage comes because people don’t accept ugliness for various reasons. We use infographics and comics as a mode of educating people about this. We are slowly taking a subtle approach in advocating for sustainability. 

Something that we’re trying out is bundles. These veggie/fruit bundles include supplies that are excess for the week or month. But everything in it is edible. Consumers also know that these bundles are more worth for value. They help a lot in clearing buffer stocks. 

It’s no longer about a set demand, it is now flexible. It is extremely useful with flexible supply. 

Q. How do you suggest our audience to start tapping on food sustainability sourcing and being a part of the green plan 2030?

Ans. Even if you don’t buy from one of these social enterprises, there is an easy way to be green. When shopping at a retail store, be flexible about what you want to buy, and ask for things that the store needs to clear out on that day. A handful of people shopping from buffer stocks can save a ton of food. 

There is definitely a set amount of demand with a set number of people. We do not encourage over buying. Juggling demand and supply is the most important aspect of reducing food wastage. The best way to do this is by switching products with very short shelf life to longer lasting products.



Written by Subhi Poddar

Subhi Poddar is a Marketing & Communications Intern at Savour!