Thai rice lovers will have something to cheer about this festive season! NTUC FairPrice (FairPrice) announced today that it will hold the prices of all of its housebrand rice from Thailand till end February 2012. Currently, FairPrice carries 9 types of housebrand rice from Thailand, from basic white rice to superior Thai Hom Mali fragrant rice. In November this year, amidst customers’ concerns about rising Thai rice prices due to the flood situations in Thailand, FairPrice took the lead to freeze the prices of its housebrand Thai rice till end December this year to allay consumers’ fears.
Explaining the decision to extend the price freeze till end February 2012, Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO (Singapore), NTUC FairPrice, said, “We have been monitoring the prices of Thai rice very closely and we observe that prices have softened in the past week as the flood situation in Thailand improves. We hope this trend will continue. We know many of our customers still love Thai rice, so we are making a commitment to hold prices till after the Chinese New Year celebrations. This is part of our social role to help ensure that essential food items will always be available to our customers at stable and affordable prices.”
Despite the fluctuating import rice prices earlier this year, FairPrice has been keeping to its social mission of moderating the cost of daily essentials for its customers. Prices of housebrand rice at FairPrice have remained largely unchanged for the past 12 months. In fact, FairPrice has even reduced prices of some of its FairPrice housebrand rice. For example, a bag of FairPrice Thai white rice cost $6.95 (5kg pack) in 2009, but it has dropped by 10% to $6.20 (5kg pack) since January this year. Similarly, FairPrice Thai Fragrant white rice cost $7.45 (5kg pack) in 2009 but has also dropped by 8% to $6.90 (5kg pack) since January this year.
At the Rice for Every taste event held in November this year, FairPrice also encouraged consumers to try Vietnamese Jasmine fragrant rice and announced that it would hold prices of its FairPrice Jasmine Fragrant Rice from Vietnam till end February 2012. Since the announcement, sales of Vietnamese rice has increased by more than 10%.
“We are very encouraged by the increased demand for Vietnamese Jasmine fragrant rice. This shows that our customers are open to trying alternative rice, and this gives us the motivation to continue to source for other alternatives to further boost the reliability and price stability of rice supply for our customers.” Mr Seah added.
Apart from Thailand and Vietnam, FairPrice also offers rice sourced from Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Japan, Korea and the USA.
As one of the major rice importers in Singapore, FairPrice stockpiles more than three months’ supply of rice to ensure reliability of supply and stability of price. In addition, prices of rice are kept stable due to various measures taken to such as diversified sourcing, forward buying, direct importing, bulk buying and contract prices with manufacturers.