46. For Singapore, by Singapore

Photo: FairPrice Group supports local products by highlighting homegrown brands at its supermarkets. Source: Samuel He

As one of Singapore's most successful homegrown brands, FairPrice strives to help other local brands achieve success too – especially when it comes to food production.

The reason is clear. Singapore’s heavy reliance on imported food, which formed about 90 per cent of its food supply in 2022, puts it at a disadvantage when dealing with external shocks such as supply chain disruptions. In the wake of the pandemic and conflict in Ukraine, the question of how to put food on the table is even more pertinent.

Back in 2009, FairPrice launched a scheme to help local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) cope with business challenges. Known as the SME Suppliers Support and Development Programme, the scheme eases common pain points like cash flow problems by paying suppliers earlier.

To date, FairPrice has invested over $15 million into the scheme. But that is not the only effort to boost both mindshare – and market share – of local produce. In 2022, it launched the 11th edition of its Made in Singapore fair, which ran for about two weeks at all outlets, including its online store. The fair offered consumers discounts on local produce and put the spotlight on over 40 locally-made products, from fresh to frozen, stamped with bright red SG Fresh Produce badges.

Speaking at the launch in Our Tampines Hub’s FairPrice outlet, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said: “Today, FairPrice carries over 6,000 locally made products including fresh produce, canned food and condiments. This is testament to FairPrice’s commitment to support local.”

Since its humble beginnings in a corner of Toa Payoh, NTUC FairPrice has become the quintessential Singaporean supermarket. The leap from a single store to a grocery giant is a tale of retail reinvention – a half-century journey that saw the cooperative confront crises and challenges, revamps and even robbers.

As it expanded and evolved, FairPrice never wavered from its core mission: to moderate the cost of living for consumers. It Takes a Great Deal - A Catalogue of FairPrice Group Stories encapsulates the birth of the consumer cooperative in 1973 and its transformation into a $4 billion food enterprise that is now called FairPrice Group.

Through 50 remarkable stories, we celebrate the people, products and places that mark significant milestones for the food retailer over the last five decades, charting its growth and successes in the past, present and into the future.