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07 February 2007

FairPrice first retailer to initiate voluntary trans fat labeling

More housebrand products with no trans fat to hit shelves by mid-2007

Working in tandem with Health Promotion Board on consumer education

Amidst calls for food manufacturers to voluntarily label their products, Singapore’s largest supermarket chain, NTUC FairPrice (“FairPrice”), has taken the lead to declare trans fat content on its new housebrand products. For its existing range of housebrand products, it also targets to change their labels by end 2007 to include trans fat declaration on the labels.

In addition, FairPrice will be reformulating, where possible, its current range of housebrand products to remove or reduce trans fat content. By mid 2008, FairPrice will have at least 100 housebrand products with no trans fat.

It is also working with the Health Promotion Board (“HPB”) to launch a series of consumer education programmes on the importance of healthy eating and to help customers have a better understanding of fats and trans fat.

“Way before the recent public concern, FairPrice has been actively sourcing and developing new products that meet the criteria for Healthier Choice and trans fat free products. We are happy to note that our early start allows us to respond promptly to the recent issues raised by the public and today, we have some alternatives that have no trans fat, for our health-conscious customers,” says Mr Tan Kian Chew, Group CEO of FairPrice.

FairPrice’s swift action in addressing the trans fat issue is hinged on its commitment to provide its customers with healthier choices. Mr Tan adds, “As a major food retailer and a co-operative with a social mission, we not only want to help to moderate the cost of living in Singapore but to also help Singaporeans live well through healthier eating. We have been working with manufacturers to develop housebrand products that have no or negligible trans fat content. Currently, we have 28 housebrand products which either contain no trans fat content or have less than 0.5g per 100g of trans fat.  These include a good range of oils, instant noodles, bread and snacks. We plan to develop more housebrand products with no trans fat. By mid 2007, we should have more than 40 and the number will grow to more than 100 by mid 2008. ”

FairPrice has taken the initiative to voluntarily declare trans fat content on its housebrand labels because of its firm belief in helping its customers make an informed choice. It is also in the process of developing shelf talkers and packaging labels to highlight products with no trans fat.

In addition, the co-operative will be working closely with HPB to educate the public on trans fat and healthy eating. Cooking demonstrations will be organised using food products with the Healthier Choice Symbol and FairPrice Housebrands. There are also plans to promote healthy eating messages on labels of housebrand food products.  FairPrice and HPB will produce public education materials to educate Singaporeans on making informed food choices. Messages on eating a balanced and healthy diet will be carried in the print media.

Mr Lam Pin Woon, CEO of the Health Promotion Board, says, “We are very glad that FairPrice has taken the initiative to help Singaporeans make informed food choices, and to educate them on trans fat. We hope that more retailers will do likewise and increase the choices of healthier foods for Singaporeans”. 

Besides its housebrand products, FairPrice will also take the initiative to encourage its key food suppliers to declare trans fat content on their product labels when they next change their labels. In line with FairPrice’s philosophy of promoting a healthier life through healthier food choices for a good life, it will also encourage its suppliers to launch more healthier choice products, which could include products with no trans fat.

Mr Tan concludes, “With the strength of our island-wide network and our estimated reach of more than 1.5 million shoppers, we are confident that we will be able to create a positive impact on our customers through our FairPrice housebrands and our deliberate effort to bring in more healthier food choices from around the world.”

Currently, FairPrice offers more than 100 housebrand products bearing the Healthier Choice Symbol.

-End-

Health Promotion Board

Clarice Teoh, Manager, Corporate Communications

DID: 6435 3105 / HP: 9337 5287

Email: clarice_teoh@hpb.gov.sg

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