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06 OCT 2011

NTUC FairPrice adds Australia to its stable of contract farms

- FairPrice signs on two contract farms in Australia 

- To diversify food sources, homegrown retailer has over 80 contract farming agreements in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand

NTUC FairPrice (FairPrice) today announced the signing of two trade agreements with contract farms in Perth, Western Australia, to import fresh produce into Singapore. This is the first time FairPrice has signed contract agreements with farms in Australia, expanding their pool of over 80 contract farm agreements in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO (Singapore) NTUC FairPrice said, "As a country with scarce land supply, Singapore imports up to 90 per cent of our food products. This means, we are subjected to periodic shifts in global food prices and supply. To counteract this, FairPrice looks to a strategy of diversified sourcing and contract farming. Contract farming helps us to secure stable supply and prices for essential goods such as vegetables. By diversifying our sources and having agreements in different countries, this further enables us to ensure supply and price stability. This is why we constantly look out for contract farming opportunities."

FairPrice has been working closely with various farms in Western Australia for more than 10 years. Currently about 10 percent of the vegetables offered at FairPrice are imported from Australia. In fact, over the past five years, FairPrice has increased its offerings of vegetables from Australia by about 40 per cent. The two contract farming agreements were inked with Center West Exports and Sumich & West Hills Farm

Mr Seah added, "We have been working with Sumich directly and with Center West Exports through a distributor for over 10 years. Last year, we started working with Center West Exports directly. We were impressed by their systems and processes to ensure food safety and quality, hence we wanted to take our partnership one step further as it will be mutually beneficial for both parties in the long-term. These agreements were made possible with the support of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, and we look forward to more opportunities to work together."

The agreements signed would add carrots to the range of vegetables supplied by contract farms sold at FairPrice. Carrots supplied by Center West Exports will be packed as "Pasar Australia" while carrots from Sumich & West Hills Farm will be packed as "Sumich". FairPrice is also working closely with UTR Produce Pty Ltd on establishing another contract farming agreement for the future supply of broccoli, sweet corn, cauliflower.

Carrots are amongst the top three selling fresh produce at FairPrice. Over 80 per cent of carrots sold at FairPrice are imported from Western Australia, with the remaining coming from China, New Zealand and South Australia. Sales figures for carrots have increased by 40 per cent over the last five years.

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