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28 May 2015

NTUC FairPrice introduces Food Waste Index to track food waste and launches Food Waste Initiative at FairPrice Xtra hypermarkets

  •          FairPrice pilots “Great Taste Less Waste Selection” initiative at FairPrice Xtra hypermarkets and embarks on public education campaign to reduce food waste
  •          FairPrice’s Food Waste Index stands at 11.9 kg/sqm in 2014, derived from total food waste over total retail space

Singapore, 28 May 2015 – NTUC FairPrice (FairPrice) today announced a Food Waste Index developed by FairPrice to track and sustain food waste reduction efforts, derived from a consultative and analytical study over the past two years, which is a first in the Singapore supermarket industry. FairPrice also launched an initiative under its Food Waste framework - “Great Taste Less Waste Selection” - at all seven FairPrice Xtra outlets where wholesome fruits and vegetables with slight blemishes will be cut into smaller pieces and repackaged to be sold at marked down prices.

Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO of NTUC FairPrice said, “As a socially responsible retailer, FairPrice looks to lead by example by doing our part to reduce food waste. We have developed a comprehensive Food Waste Framework that will be tracked by the Food Waste Index. This allows us to take a more structured and sustainable approach to tackle the issue of food waste on multiple fronts. We also encourage our customers to join us in our efforts to reduce waste; and together help contribute towards a more sustainable environment.”

The Food Waste Index was developed based on a consultative study and measures the annual total food waste against the total retail space of all FairPrice stores across all retail formats islandwide. Based on 2014’s figures, FairPrice’s food waste was 11.9 kilograms per square meters for the year. The total amount of food waste in FairPrice for that year was 2,200 tonnes, equivalent to 88 garbage trucks. This, however, only makes up about 0.3 per cent of the total food waste generated in Singapore over the same period.

The Food Waste Index will enable FairPrice to track its progress on various food waste reduction initiatives under the Food Waste Framework. The Food Waste Framework aims to reduce food waste on three fronts – Processes, Public Education, and Partnerships.

Processes

To reduce waste at stores, FairPrice is piloting the “Great Taste Less Waste Selection” at all seven FairPrice Xtra stores located across the island. Wholesome fruits and vegetables that are left unsold due to blemishes will be cut into smaller pieces or trimmed before being repackaged and sold at a lower price. Some of these include fruits such as apples, pears, and oranges, and vegetables such as carrots, corn, and bitter gourd. This concept of repackaging produce was derived after consultation with staff and industry experts, as well as references to overseas case studies.

Currently, FairPrice also marks down prices of seafood and chilled meats after being displayed for a day at all FairPrice stores.

Beyond this, FairPrice is also exploring the possibility of processing food waste into compost.

Public Education

To complement the “Great Taste Less Waste Selection” pilot programme, FairPrice also launched a campaign to create greater awareness of food waste among the public and educate customers on handling food with care. The campaign also looks to reshape mindsets on how wholesome fruits and vegetables with blemishes or bruises are still good for consumption. The campaign will utilise in-store collaterals and social media to garner public interest and support.

Partnerships

Earlier this year in April, FairPrice also started a long-term partnership with Food from the Heart (FFTH) where 55 FairPrice stores donate unsold but still wholesome canned food products to the community through FFTH on a regular basis. Previously, FairPrice stores donated such food products on an ad-hoc basis to more than 30 charities in Singapore. With the new collaboration with FFTH, these charities will be able to acquire the products directly from FFTH. This initiative will further reduce the total amount of food waste while increasing the donation of products to charities. By July this year, FairPrice targets for all 126 FairPrice stores to donate directly to FFTH.

Last year, FairPrice also donated S$10,000 to FFTH as its sole campaign sponsor for World Food Day 2014.

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