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20 August 2009

FairPrice launches Singapore’s FIRST PERGAS-audited supermarket

- New store at Joo Chiat Complex also pilots ‘Stretch Your Dollar Zone’ to help customers save on grocery bills

Singapore’s homegrown retailer NTUC FairPrice today officially launched its new addition to its existing network of over 200 retail outlets – FairPrice supermarket at Joo Chiat Complex. This new outlet is also Singapore’s first PERGAS-audited supermarket, aimed at addressing the needs of Muslim customers.

With a wider range of Halal-certified offerings within its store as well as a pilot ‘Stretch Your Dollar Zone’, FairPrice seeks to address the needs of the local community and helping customers save on grocery bills. 

“There is a significant Muslim population residing in the vicinity of this new store. To help us better understand and meet the needs of our Muslim customers, I am happy to announce that FairPrice at Joo Chiat Complex is the first supermarket here to appoint PERGAS Halbiz as our Halal consultant,” Mr Ng Ser Miang, Chairman of NTUC FairPrice announced FairPrice's new partnership with PERGAS Halbiz. 

Plans are underway to audit 40 other outlets in the next 12 months, including FairPrice’s bigger stores - FairPrice Tampines Mall, FairPrice Xtra AMK Hub and FairPrice Xtra at Jurong Point 2. In order to attain the PERGAS audit approval, FairPrice stores undergoing the PERGAS Audit Programme must go through a series of at least four stringent audits. The programme covers the processes of handling Halal products, training of key staff on Halal requirements and recommendations on areas for improvement.

"The PERGAS audit programme supplements our ongoing efforts to build a closer relationship with the Muslim community. Over the years, FairPrice has been growing the number of Halal-certified products in our stores,” Mr Ng said.

In addition to the wide variety of products offered at all FairPrice stores, the newly launched outlet at Joo Chiat Complex features a wider range of Halal-certified products to further meet specific needs of the Muslim community. A third of its in-store products are Halal-certified. Of these, about 400 are new Halal products, including a wide range of baking needs and spices, meat products such as chicken salami and beef pepperoni and even toiletries. As part of its initiatives to engage Muslim customers, FairPrice also partnered with Ain Society to produce Selera Raya, a special cooking show on Suria channel, as well as placing weekly advertisements in Berita Harian to inform Muslim customers of its weekly offers.

The newly launched FairPrice Joo Chiat Complex will also pilot the ‘Stretch Your Dollar Zone’, which will feature value buys advertised in weekly advertisements. With this new 'Zone’, customers can easily pick out the advertised offers under this new banner in this dedicated space within the supermarket, as part of FairPrice’s promise to provide value and great service to its customers.

Mr Ng commented, “Many of our shoppers look out for our weekly advertised offers in the papers and hunt for these value buys in the store.  With this new “Stretch the Dollar Zone,” our customers can easily pick out these advertised offers.  This latest initiative is part of our promise to provide great value and service to our customers.”

As part of its social mission to moderate prices of essential items, FairPrice offers essential and popular items at special discounts for its customers every week. In determining the type of products and prices for its weekly advertised offers, FairPrice considers factors such as supply and demand of products, supplier costs, product popularity, seasonality, consumer demand and customer feedback to ensure its offers are fair and attractive.

In conjunction with the opening of this new outlet, NTUC FairPrice Foundation, a registered charity wholly funded by NTUC FairPrice, is also helping needy families in Joo Chiat to meet their daily grocery needs through the FairPrice Million Dollar Food Voucher Scheme. At the event, Group CEO of NTUC FairPrice and also Director of FairPrice Foundation, Mr Tan Kian Chew presented S$14,000 worth of FairPrice food vouchers to Dr Ong Seh Hong, MP for Marine Parade GRC, who received the vouchers on behalf of Kampong Ubi - Kembangan Constituency. These vouchers will then be distributed to needy families within the constituency.

-End-

About FairPrice and PERGAS Halbiz Halal Consultancy

In line with FairPrice’s objective to serve customers from all walks of life, it has engaged PERGAS Halbiz as a consultant to ensure that all facilities, practices and processes in FairPrice stores comply with Halal requirements as recommended by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS). This work is done through a series of steps, including:

  1. PERGAS will spend a month minimum with the outlet to develop Halal process flows and food handling procedure to ensure compliance with MUIS requirements.
  2. PERGAS will train key staff to understand more about Halal and the processes that will ensure Halal status of products.
  3. PERGAS will audit the branches (minimum four times) that they have trained and report on monthly basis to FairPrice. The report will include recommendations for improvements.
  4. PERGAS will meet regularly with FairPrice for consistent exchange of ideas.
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