New hypermart champions local produce

FairPrice Xtra in Parkway Parade has dedicated section to promote local products

A section containing local products at the new FairPrice Xtra hypermarket in Parkway Parade.
A section containing local products at the new FairPrice Xtra hypermarket in Parkway Parade.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Local produce is getting a boost at a new FairPrice supermarket in Marine Parade that will carry more goods from domestic makers.

The new FairPrice Xtra hypermarket on the third floor of Parkway Parade will have a dedicated section for promoting new local products.

The store will also have SG Fresh Produce logos on the packaging of local produce such as fish, eggs and vegetables.

More than 600 local products can be found at the store, compared with supermarkets of the same size that 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 yesterday, 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, from less than 10 per cent now.

Dr Tan, who is also the Second Minister for Manpower, said the supply of local food will help 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.

"When we choose to buy local food produce, we are supporting the business of our farmers. Because of our support, we also can 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 more than 59,000 sq ft and is described as a "blended lifestyle retail space" that offers retail shopping with a dining experience.

Some local products sold there include a kaya chocolate bar from Chocoworks, a chocolate manufacturer, and the RedDot Chrysanthemum Rum Lager by microbrewery RedDot BrewHouse. Items that do well 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 costs will come down with greater economies of scale. "I think if some of it comes at a premium, we should also do our part by helping them."

Housewife Linda Teo, 43, bought locally produced mushrooms, fish and vegetables at the supermarket yesterday.

While she did not know if they cost more than imported produce, she said: "Even if they're 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 imported goods."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2021, with the headline 'New hypermart champions local produce'. Subscribe