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13 August 2009

Speech by Mr Seah Kian Peng, Managing Director, NTUC FairPrice at the launch of Tasty Singapore Fair

Dr Moh Chong Tau, Deputy President, Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation (SMa),

Members of the media,

Association members,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning. I am pleased to join you at the official launch of Tasty Singapore Fair 2009 to showcase NTUC FairPrice’s support of home-grown food brands.

Tasty Singapore Fair is a case study of how different players in the industry, with a common vision and passion, can come together to achieve a common goal. FairPrice, itself a home-grown brand, in working together with Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation and International Enterprise Singapore, seeks to bring the diversity and creativity of Singapore’s food offerings to the local community.

Tasty Singapore Fair is a celebration of quality foods that truly define Singapore’s rich multi-cultural heritage. NTUC FairPrice is proud to provide a common platform for homegrown food brands to showcase their tasty products of excellent quality. Our local favourites such as roti prata, laksa and pau have travelled the world under the Tasty Singapore banner to delight customers from diverse countries.  But we must not forget about promoting these local brands here in Singapore too.  Now, through our wide network of 89 FairPrice stores and our marketing efforts, we hope more customers here will be able to experience this one-stop shopping for tasty Singapore treats

The food industry is an important and integral part of our economy.  It provides jobs for several thousands of Singaporeans. We also know that some 95 per cent of companies in food manufacturing industry here are SMEs.  As such, it is important to address the needs of this group of companies, many of whom are also our key business partners.  As a retailer, we have grown over the years, and we like to see our trusted partners grow alongside us. We are happy to offer our infrastructure, expertise and resources to help our SME partners grow.

The Tasty Singapore initiative well complements our existing FairPrice SME Assistance Programme. Under this programme, we have set aside S$30 million to help ease cash flow of our SME suppliers.  We are happy that since the launch of the scheme in January this year, some 356 of our SME suppliers have taken up our offer for cashflow assistance.   Besides this, FairPrice also provides discounts on listing fees and advertisements, and helps to promote products manufactured by local brands. 

Our suppliers are our long-term partners.  We appreciate their consistent and loyal support.  Indeed, many of them have helped us in moderating prices of essential goods so that our customers will always have access to quality products at best value.  In good times, our suppliers have also supported us in our community projects and contributing to our efforts to help the poor and needy.  We are glad to play our part in helping our partners during this downturn.

FairPrice itself is proud to be Singapore’s home-grown brand since 1973.  With more than half a million members, we are truly the people’s supermarket.  Our customers trust FairPrice to deliver quality products and at a good value. Our warehousing facilities and our stores are certified to the international ISO and HACCP food handling and safety standards.  Similarly, all the Tasty Singapore brands must meet such stringent international food safety requirement.  This uniquely Singapore quest for excellence is a trait shared by FairPrice and all Tasty Singapore brand ambassadors. And providing tasty food with excellence is a common trait of the Tasty Singapore brand.

Through this collaboration with Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation and support of IE Singapore, I am confident of a successful outcome through this initiative, which will at the same time, demonstrate Singapore’s unique heritage in offering various ethnic foods with authentic taste and international appeal.

In conclusion, let me thank Dr Moh Chong Tau for his support in our collaboration for Tasty Singapore.  My appreciation also goes to members of Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation, members of IE Singapore, members of the media, and everyone else here attending this special launch. I look forward to an increased attention to the incredible creativity and diversity in food we have right here at home, and an acknowledgement from all that Singapore has indeed made a ‘Tasty’ mark in our world.

Thank you.

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