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336. A supermarket for the people

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Coop Name: NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd N° of Employees: 8000
City: Singapore N° of Members: 590000
Country: Singapore Year of formation: 1973
Website: http://www.fairprice.com.sg
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About this coop:

NTUC FairPrice Co-operative Ltd was founded by the labour movement in 1973, with a social mission to moderate the cost of living in Singapore. NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd has grown from one supermarket in 1973 into Singapore’s largest grocery retailer serving about 400,000 shoppers daily, with a network of over 105 outlets today, comprising FairPrice supermarkets, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra. Its convenience arm comprises a network of about 150 FairPrice Xpress and Cheers convenience stores, which serves over 100,000 customers daily. NTUC FairPrice also owns a Fresh Food Distribution Centre and a centralised warehousing and distribution company.

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The year is 1972 in Singapore and there was widespread panic buying because of the fears of a global food shortage that the global oil crisis brought about. Unscrupulous merchants took advantage of the situation by hoarding essentials and raising prices whenever they felt like it.

To counter this, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) set up the first cooperative supermarket with the objective of selling food and other consumer products at reasonable prices, thus forcing profiteers to stop making unjustified price hikes. It is with this social mission to moderate the cost of living in Singapore that NTUC FairPrice’s values are rooted in, which it has continued to do throughout the years.

During the rice crisis in 2008, prices of rice skyrocketed. Despite the price crunch, FairPrice ensured a steady supply of this staple food and was the first to drop prices of 8 of its housebrand rice. More recently in 2011, amidst concerns of rising rice prices and high inflation, FairPrice again announced that it would freeze prices on all FairPrice housebrand rice from Thailand and Vietnam until the end of 2012.

Beyond this social mission of moderating the cost of living, FairPrice also plays its part in doing good for the community. FairPrice has an established Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) framework to meet specific CSR goals with regards to being a responsible retailer, providing for the community, being a good employer and caring for the environment. Its signature Share-A-Textbook project, for example, has recycled over 2 million textbooks and helped needy students save on textbook expenses for almost 30 years.

FairPrice also set up the FairPrice Foundation to focus its giving efforts to provide a better life for the community. FairPrice Foundation focuses its giving on three strategic thrusts – the poor and needy, nation building and community bonding, and advancing workers’ welfare. To date, FairPrice has donated more than $32 million to the community through the Foundation.

Today, FairPrice has multiple retail formats serving the varied needs and interests of people from all walks of life, FairPrice has kept pace with the changing needs of its customers while remaining committed to its social mission of moderating the cost of living. It aspires to be a preferred employer, to moderate the cost of living in Singapore and serve the needs of their members, the labour movement and the community.

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NTUC FairPrice
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