1. Good morning and thank you Kian Peng for having me here today. I am excited to be in my own constituency and joining you to witness the official opening of the ninth FairPrice Xtra hypermarket at Parkway Parade.
2. FairPrice is a homegrown, trusted brand that has seen our country, Singapore through various difficult periods over the last fifty years. In times of crises, we can always depend on FairPrice to provide us with the much-needed assistance and support so that all Singaporeans will always have access to our daily needs at affordable prices. In the last twenty years, FairPrice has introduced several initiatives focused on doing that. For example:
a. In 2003, during the SARS and H1N1 pandemic, FairPrice has taken the initiative of stabilising the prices of essential food items, such as eggs, chicken and vegetables;
b. In 2007 to 2009, during the global financial crisis, FairPrice introduced the Stretch Your Dollar programme which resulted in S$12 million worth of savings for Singaporeans; and
c. More recently, from June to December last year, FairPrice froze the prices of more than 100 house brand items to alleviate living costs for Singaporeans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
FairPrice’s Efforts in Supporting Local Brands and Produce to Boost Local Food Production and Food Security
3. I am also especially heartened to see FairPrice’s commitment to support local food brands and local produce.
4. FairPrice Xtra at Parkway Parade is the first supermarket in Singapore that has dedicated sections for local produce, such as fish, eggs, vegetables and mushrooms. Consumers can also identify local produce via the ‘SG Fresh Produce’ logos on the packaging.
5. My dear residents, ladies and gentlemen, I hope you can support our local producers as this is vital in strengthening our food supply resilience. As a country that imports more than 90% of our food regionally and internationally, we are especially sensitive to external shocks or disruptions in the global food supply chain.
6. It is therefore important for us to develop our own resillence in our food story. Just as we have our energy story, we also have our Singapore food story. This has to be the impetus for us, by 2030, to produce 30% of our own food supply, up from the current less than 10%. This can help us to mitigate any external shocks, it can help us to boost our food resilience, and at the same time, during food supply crisis, it forms a very important buffer for all of us.
7. As we work towards this goal, we must also generate the demand in the market for our local food produce. When we choose to buy local produce, we are directly supporting the business of our local farmers who took the premptive step and the option of growing our produce to supply our own needs. Because of our support for them, we also can motivate, inspire and spur them on to embrace technology to become more productive, to move up the value chain and to meet the increased demand. All these will contribute in a big way to help us sustain a healthy and vibrant local agri-food ecosystem in the long run.
FairPrice’s Push for Innovation amid Challenges posed by COVID-19
8. I am also heartened to see how FairPrice has continued to innovate and adapt amid the challenges posed by COVID-19.
9. FairPrice has done a commendable job in its efforts to stay relevant and cater to the evolving needs of consumers. Grocery shopping is no longer a simple routine here, but an experience.
10. I am proud to say that FairPrice Xtra at Parkway Parade is the first of its kind to offer two new services:
a. One, spice-mixing for curry lovers to be curated for different dishes, such as Curry Chicken, Masak Merah or Thai Green Curry;
b. Two, a cocktail bar for shoppers to unwind in-between their grocery runs.
11. This is a good example of how retailers can innovate to provide new and exciting offerings to attract consumers.
12. Before I end, I would like to thank FairPrice for working with our grassroots team and various community organisations to offer job opportunities for our residents at this new outlet. Your commitment to serve the community and relentless dedication to innovate has been remarkable.
13. On this note, congratulations to FairPrice for the successful launch of FairPrice Xtra at Parkway Parade. I look forward to doing more of my grocery shopping here in the future.
14. Thank you.