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Impact 0395: Young people raising support for Singapore’s homegrown produce

Lim See Mun · 28 February 2022
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Lim See Mun, 23, is the Business Development Lead of “Fresh off the Dot”, a 3-month communication campaign that encourages demand for local produce in Singapore. A final year undergraduate at the Wee Kim Wee School at Nanyang Technological University, See Mun aspires to be a part of a movement to bridge the disconnect between food and people —and does so through this final-year academic project.

Today, she shares more about the project and her role.

Tell us more about what you do!

“Fresh off the Dot” was founded on the belief that residents in Singapore should know about our home-grown produce. Unlike in other countries where farmers are celebrated, a large proportion of people in Singapore are still unaware that Singapore has farms (and we have over 200!). This is critical for our country’s food security and self-sufficiency, and we hope that our campaign will shed light on the importance of supporting local farms and the benefits of eating local produce!

At Fresh off the Dot, I double-hat as a Treasurer, where I manage the campaign finances, and am the Business Development Lead. For a public communication campaign starting off from scratch, we had to reach out to various organizations with similar visions for collaborations and funding. 

I acted as the main point of contact for external organizations and partners, such as Kranji Countryside Association and The Local Farm by Gardenasia, and successfully led my team to pitch for grants – such as the National Youth Council’s Young Changemaker Grant, which we obtained. It hasn’t been easy but this couldn’t have been possible without the help and support of my teammates!

What inspired you to do this?

During the planning phase of our campaign, we had various meetings with farmers and like-minded organizations. From those meetings, we were able to learn more about the local farming scene, and this gave me deeper insight into the agriculture and farming scene that we have in Singapore. I realized that farmers are indeed our hidden heroes, and learnt to appreciate the hard work that they’ve poured into their farms. Every farmer we interacted with, I was able to see the overwhelming passion that they had for what they do, and that really inspired me.

One experience in particular that really propelled our group forward was our volunteering experience at Science Centre’s UNTAME Farmers’ Market in November. There, we manned the booths and helped to sell local produce to visitors under the guidance of Mr. Malcolm Ong, President of Kranji Countryside Association! 

When the time came for our campaign to launch, I was rather drawn to the role of Business Development as I had just ended my internship as a brand management intern, where my job scope was similar. I also wanted to step out of my comfort zone and speak more with external parties, and thought that the role would be a perfect chance to do so.

Have you faced any challenges so far? And how did you overcome them?

I would say the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is the inevitable burnout that comes with a long campaign. We kick-started our campaign in August last year. We do enjoy and feel proud of what we do, but as is with any project, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. There are times where burnout happens to us, and it is definitely a challenge to keep going even when we lack the energy to do so.

If you could share one piece of advice with your fellow youth, what would it be?

I would say, take a leap of faith and never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! At the same time, never be afraid or guilty to take a day’s break, or take time for yourself even for a few hours.

What are your hopes or plans for the future? What do you want to see or perhaps do?

We are planning for an event in collaboration with Open Farm Community, and we’re beyond excited for the event to happen. We’re honored to be working with a restaurant that cares about food and where it’s from. We can’t wait to interact with parents and children and hopefully, they’ll leave with takeaways about Singapore and our local produce at the end of the day!

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