SINGAPORE - Local produce is getting a boost at a new FairPrice supermarket in Marine Parade, which will carry more goods from domestic makers.
The new FairPrice Xtra hypermarket on the third floor of Parkway Parade will be the first here to have dedicated sections for local produce such as fish, eggs, vegetables and mushrooms, and is aimed at promoting local brands and products.
More than 600 local products can be found here, compared with supermarkets of the same size which typically carry fewer than 500 local products.
Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng, who was the guest of honour at the store's official opening on Friday (Jan 22), called on residents to support local products, which he described as vital in strengthening Singapore's food supply and resilience.
Singapore aims to produce 30 per cent of the country's nutritional needs locally by 2030, an increase from the current figure of less than 10 per cent.
Dr Tan, who is also the Second Minister for Manpower, said local food supply will help Singapore to mitigate external shocks, such as by forming a buffer during a food supply crisis.
It is also important to generate demand for local produce when working towards that goal, he added.
He said: "When we choose to buy local food produce, we are supporting the business of our farmers. Because of our support, we can also motivate them and inspire them. We can spur them on to embrace technology to become more productive, to move up the value chain, and to meet the increased demand."
The new store is the chain's ninth FairPrice Xtra, which spans over 59,000 sq ft and is described as a "blended lifestyle retail space" that offers retail shopping with a dining experience.
Some local products here include the Kaya Bar from Chocoworkz, a chocolate manufacturer, and the RedDot Chrysanthemum Rum Lager by microbrewery RedDot Brewhouse.
Items that do well here may also be stocked at other FairPrice supermarkets.
Shoppers can also enjoy two exclusive services here - a spice-mixing counter for curry lovers and a cocktail bar for shoppers to unwind between their grocery runs.
FairPrice Group chief executive Seah Kian Peng also called on residents to support local, even if they may be slightly more expensive than imported produce.
He said the difference in prices is narrowing, and believes that costs will come down with more economies of scale.
He added: "I think if some of it comes at a premium, we should also do our part by helping them."
Housewife Linda Teo bought locally produced mushrooms, fish and vegetables at the supermarket on Friday.
While she is unaware if prices were higher, she said: "Even if it's more expensive, I wouldn't mind paying a premium because I find that the goods are fresher. I feel that the vegetables look fresher and greener compared with the imported goods."