Green Plan 2030 Dialogue- Kay Lee

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 Kay Lee, one of our panelists as well as the key quotes she brought up in the webinar that serves as valuable takeaways for readers like you. 

Kay Lee is a sustainability advocate and writer who has more than 2 years of experience promoting sustainability in Singapore through actively advocating for causes and engaging in freelance writing. Until fairly recently Kay was the Project Lead and Marketing Lead at Zero Waste Singapore where she planned and executed the nation-wide campaigns and also did outreach. She also connected with stakeholders on waste and sustainability issues in Singapore during her tenure.

When asked about her experience writing about sustainability causes and what sustainability means to her, here’s what she said.

“In my personal life, as a side hustle I still do some sustainability advocacy and write about it. As someone who has worked with NGOs and with the know-how of Not-for-Profits, I do try to make sustainable sourcing information and food available to the underprivileged. In my experience, it is difficult to communicate to a large audience to convert to vegetarianism or veganism. It is difficult because there is no easy way to tell them to spend the extra money, which they might not have the ability to do.

Through my writing and as much as I can, I try to propagate the idea that people do not need to completely convert to vegans or vegetarians, but they just know that they have the option. So they can, at their convenience, not eat meat on a particular day of the week or switch from whole milk to almond milk. Low income families like those of migrant workers eat what they do because of budgetary constraints and cannot be told to spend more money. 

However, they are most prone to get affected by climate change and in turn, the benefits of sustainability would affect/ help them most. These are issues that come up with talking about sustainable living. It comes to show that the people who will be most affected by it, can do the least about it. We need to make sure when writing about this, that the ideas are not just palatable, but also doable because a lot of communities do not have the privilege or option.” 

Q. What are some economic challenges and opportunities that organisations have faced especially during COVID-19?

Ans. In my experience working with smaller companies, during the pandemic they are simply unable to sell their products. To add to that, they are unable to sell the experience that comes along with the product, which especially with foods like alternative meats is very important.

Over the past year, I have realised that people do not have trust in the product or the process of production. There haven’t been enough tests to tell if these foods/products have side effects. This is a major issue that small food based social enterprises are facing. 

Another challenge with being a social enterprise is the Supply Chain. Before the pandemic it was easy to be transparent about where all the raw materials were being sourced from. But with the pandemic businesses are finding it difficult to be as transparent about sourcing in lieu of warehousing issues, procurement issues, etc. These were legitimate problems even before the pandemic, but times have accentuated them even more now. 

Q. Do you have any initiatives relating to food sustainability and green plan 2030 that the public can contribute to as well?

Ans. I personally do not have any initiatives. But having worked with so many businesses in the industry, I believe that people should simply support small businesses that help relocate food that has been thrown out.



Written by Subhi Poddar

Subhi Poddar is a Marketing & Communications Intern at Savour!