22. The Foundation for a Better Singapore
A Singapore where fewer people struggle financially is what FairPrice has always worked towards. That is why it established the FairPrice Foundation, a registered charity fully funded by FairPrice, in March 2008. The Foundation aims to improve life for the community through helping the poor and needy, promoting community bonding and nation-building, and advancing the welfare of workers.
“As a social enterprise, our aim is to do well in order to do more good. NTUC FairPrice Foundation is a milestone achievement towards our vision to be a world-class retailer with a heart,” said then-Chairman of the FairPrice Foundation, Mr Ng Ser Miang, in 2008. At its launch, FairPrice pledged $50 million in donations over 10 years. Since then, it has donated more than $178 million to the Foundation, which has earned accolades such as multiple Community Chest Awards and People’s Association Community Spirit Awards for its social service efforts.
Mr Jonas Kor, former Director of Corporate Communications at FairPrice Group and current General Manager of FairPrice Foundation, recalled an event where children from disadvantaged families were taken on a supermarket shopping trip on a $50 budget.
“I volunteered with a boy who was about seven or eight and I could tell that he really wanted a toy. Instead, he borrowed my phone to call his grandmother and asked what brand of milk powder his younger sister took,” he recounted. “After hanging up, he picked up the toy for one last glance, but bought the milk powder for his sister.”
“I was touched and it’s a reflection that we not only help make a difference, but also inculcate our youth with the values of caring and sharing,” he said.
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.
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.