NTUC so “rich”, why their things cannot be the cheapest?

By March 11, 2022Current, Local Life

TL;DR – No profit how to continue supporting Singaporeans leh?

Too many people forget that FairPrice is a social enterprise, not a charity. Like any other commercial enterprise, it operates on market principles. It has to generate its own profit. No profit how to continue leh?

Benchmarking, not pushing down prices unfairly

Did you know that NTUC FairPrice supermarkets, Cheers convenience stores and Unity pharmacies were the first to bring the price of SD Biosensor ART kits down to less than $10 each in October 2021? Two months later, they brought in Flowflex ART kits at a lower price of just $4.90 each. It’s now just $4.50 each!

As NTUC Sec-Gen, Ng Chee Meng says, “One of the things we do is benchmark the prices of essential goods to make sure that no one has to pay exorbitant prices for the things they need. … Each time we dropped prices, other retailers did too ”

The Labour Chief has also promised that even as business costs rise, NTUC will continue to do their best to keep prices affordable in this challenging time. “More will be done in 2022,” he says.

Considering how much NTUC has come through for Singaporeans – from job protection, to the various initiatives in supporting workers, and managing cost of living during the pandemic, I think Singaporeans can hold this Labour Chief to his word!

 

Supporting Singaporeans – NTUC’s various initiatives

FairPrice has got its social mission to fulfil – moderate Singaporeans’ cost of living by keeping daily essentials affordable.

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Psst, new in, shoppers at all NTUC FairPrice supermarkets and hypermarkets will enjoy a 5 per cent discount every Friday on about 100 “key essential items”. They comprise daily household staples such as rice, oil, eggs, milk, vegetables, meat, laundry and paper products.

The discounts are part of FairPrice’s “Stretch Your Dollar” programme to help consumers cope with the rising cost of living that has been exacerbated by the seemingly neverending pandemic.

The programme was first introduced in 2007 to 2008 during a financial crisis and was brought back from 2010 to 2011 as an economic downturn loomed. This initiative complements the existing discount schemes already in place for Pioneer Generation, Merdeka Generation, Seniors Discount and CHAS Blue cardholders between Monday (and) Thursday!

NTUC

Prices for hot coffee or hot tea, without milk and less or no sugar, will be reduced and held at 90 cents at more than 80 Kopitiam and NTUC Foodfare outlets. It will also be maintaining the prices of breakfast sets until the end of the year.

Seriously, we geddit, for those of you already used to your Starbucks and Tiger Sugar, it may not mean much. But hey, there are many, many lower-wage workers and seniors who are indeed very appreciative!

Kopitiam is also expanding its Rice Garden Programme, launched in 2015, to more locations to facilitate more concessionary meals for the needy as well as seniors and union members.

FREEZE! NTUC FairPrice continues to freeze prices of housebrand products amid COVID-19 pandemic

FairPrice to the Rescue – Remember the time when you panicked over toilet paper?

In case you have forgotten, over the years, FairPrice has risen to the occasion many times, holding prices of vegetables during SARS in 2003, prices of eggs during the Avian flu in 2004, and prices of rice during the Gulf War. Also, do you remember when toilet paper ran out?

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Yup, CEO Seah Kian Peng had to come out to assure Singaporeans that “Yes, we got stockpile enough toilet rolls (9 million rolls) for you all”.

“At this point in time, we have over 9 million toilet rolls. We have about 1.2 million packs of instant noodles. We have over 4 million kilos of rice, presently. And stocks continue to come in,” said FairPrice Group CEO Seah Kian Peng.

Deh, NTUC FairPrice got stockpile toilet paper for you Singaporeans.

Doing good

Not many people are aware that FairPrice also has its own charity arm, FairPrice Foundation. Corporate philanthropy is very much a part of NTUC FairPrice’s DNA. The foundation has been donating money to help Singaporeans in need.

For instance, it makes yearly donations to the NTUC-U Care Fund to support low-income families! Through the collective efforts of the NTUC-affiliated unions, association and social enterprises, together with management and tripartite partners, $23.2 million was raised in 2009 to help workers affected by the economic downturn.

Convinced yet that social enterprises need to do well before they can do good? Please, the next time you hear people asking why “NTUC things are not the cheapest”, share this with them.

Really, it’s FairPrice, not CheapestPrice lah.

 

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Gabrielle Teo

Author Gabrielle Teo

I read lots, and I also spend an indecent amount of time trying to get my mostly unpopular opinions published. Oh, I argue a lot with fellow Singaporeans who complain incessantly about Singapore too.

More posts by Gabrielle Teo

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