Selected local farms to sell vegetables at FairPrice supermarkets in pilot scheme, Latest Shopping News - The New Paper

Selected local farms to sell vegetables at FairPrice supermarkets in pilot scheme

Four local vegetable farms are selling their produce at nine FairPrice supermarkets under a pilot that would allow these farms to gain experience to tackle any challenges when they enter the retail market.

The supermarket chain has joined the Singapore Food Agency’s (SFA) Retail Incubation Initiative, which provides selected local farms the chance to sell their produce in supermarkets.

The six-month pilot, which started in July, was announced at the launch of the 11th edition of FairPrice’s Made in Singapore fair on Friday.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu, who was guest of honour, attended the fair at the FairPrice branch at Our Tampines Hub.

“Food security is an existential issue many countries grapple with,” Ms Fu said. “Challenges such as geopolitical tensions and climate change have caused significant disruptions to global food supplies.”

She added that Singapore is especially vulnerable to supply disruptions as it imports more than 90 per cent of its food. Diversifying the nation’s food sources, including the growth of local food sources, helps to mitigate the impact of supply disruption.

Under the pilot, FairPrice will support Next Farmer, LivFresh, Go Farm and GKE in gaining business knowledge by selling their produce – which include Asian leafy greens, potted vegetables and herbs – at the nine FairPrice outlets.

The outlets are at JEM, Vivocity, Parkway Parade, Thomson Plaza, Bukit Timah Plaza, Causeway Point, Our Tampines Hub, Northpoint City and Hillion Mall.

The farms will also learn how to cater to consumers’ demand and needs. But it is also important that consumers support these farms too, noted both Ms Fu and FairPrice Group deputy chairman Seah Kian Peng.

Since July, the farmers have been mentored by FairPrice on how to fine-tune their product offerings, pricing and promotion mechanics, among others.

The products have been sold at the supermarkets from Oct 1 and will be available till Nov 30.

A review will be held in December, after the pilot, for the farms to take learnings.

As FairPrice is a leading supermarket retailer, it remains committed to promoting local produce and locally made products, said Mr Seah.

“By boosting local production, we not only support home-grown businesses, we also help build greater food security and resilience as a nation,” he added.

FairPrice has also extended its suppliers support and development programme for its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) partners for another year, by setting aside $2.1 million.

To date, FairPrice has invested more than $15 million to help its SME partners.

The programme was introduced in 2009 to help the cooperative’s SME partners overcome restructuring challenges and tide through the global financial crisis. In 2012, the programme was brought back after a two-year hiatus and has been extended annually to benefit more than 500 SMEs.

Assistance provided under the programme includes leveraging FairPrice’s Online Marketplace platform to promote or sell the companies’ products.

Ms Elaine Heng, chief executive of retail business at FairPrice Group, said SMEs continue to face challenges brought about by the current uncertain business climate, rising inflation and the evolving Covid-19 pandemic.

Thus, the programme helps SMEs cope with rising business costs and enhances their business capabilities, she added.

The Made in Singapore annual fair, which supports local food manufacturing companies, will feature more than 40 locally made products. It will run until Nov 9 at all FairPrice stores and FairPrice Online, offering savings of up to 46 per cent off the usual prices.

Earlier this month, FairPrice launched its Greater Value Every Day initiative, where the prices of 50 essential items, out of a pool of 500, would be frozen each month. The new initiative aims to help consumers cope with the rising cost of living, with popular grocery items going on discount each week, among others.

The group also announced, earlier this week, a 15 per cent discount on three rice products till Nov 9, to help its customers with the rising cost of living.