To cut waste, FairPrice may drop prices of more food items

Siau Ming En Today Online 16 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE — Supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice is looking at extending marked-down prices — which currently apply to seafood and chilled meats after they have been displayed for a day — to other categories of food, without compromising quality and safety, as part of a series of initiatives to reduce food wastage.

Other possible measures under its food waste reduction framework, which will kick in early next year, include educating customers that fruits and vegetables that may not be aesthetically appealing, and which are often left unsold, can still be wholesome and safe for consumption.

Announcing its plans for the new framework yesterday, FairPrice said it would donate more unsold but safe-for-consumption products to charity.

FairPrice chief executive officer Seah Kian Peng said the framework would help the cooperative clearly define its goals and systematically track its progress towards reducing food waste.

“While we already have some initiatives in place, we need to find a more effective and sustainable approach to reduce food waste,” he said.

Based on statistics from the National Environment Agency, Singapore dumped 796,000 tonnes of food waste last year — a 13.2 per cent increase from 2012.

With a network of more than 120 outlets around the island, FairPrice contributed to about 0.3 per cent of total food waste generated last year. It said the key categories of food that go to waste at its supermarkets are vegetables and fruits.

Last year, FairPrice set up a working committee to review its processes and look into new approaches to better manage food waste.

An ongoing study has found that apart from food that is aesthetically flawed and left unsold, quality control, the trimming during packaging, damage caused during transport and storage as well as mishandling of products by customers have contributed to the supermarket chain’s food waste.

FairPrice said that, currently, about half of its 122 outlets donate their unsold products, which can still be consumed, to more than 30 charities on an ad-hoc basis.

When the new framework is launched, FairPrice will start a long-term partnership with voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) Food From The Heart, which conducts monthly distribution of food goodie bags at various schools and corporations, among other activities.

Separately, the supermarket chain will support the VWO’s series of initiatives held in conjunction with World Food Day today.

This includes a Clean Plates campaign to encourage more than 10,000 students not to waste food.

NTUC FairPrice introduces measures to tackle food waste
Channel NewsAsia 15 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE: NTUC FairPrice on Wednesday (Oct 15) announced that it will address food waste through a structured framework, in commemoration of World Food Day on Thursday.

In a media release, NTUC FairPrice said plans to reduce food waste include enhancing and implementing internal processes that are "preventive in nature" and engaging its customers on greater awareness of food waste. It also hopes to reshape mindsets towards “imperfect-looking but perfectly safe” fruits and vegetables.

The supermarket chain added that it will also work with suppliers and charities to reduce food waste, and the framework will kick in early next year.

NTUC FairPrice CEO Seah Kian Peng said: “While we already have some initiatives in place, we need to find a more effective and sustainable approach to reduce food waste. Through the FairPrice Food Waste Framework, we are able to clearly define our goals and systematically track our progress.

“Everyone needs to play a part in dealing with this growing issue and we are optimistic with a structured approach and through collective effort, we can make a difference,” he added.

In 2013, Singapore saw a record high of 796,000 tonnes of food waste, NTUC FairPrice, citing National Environment Agency's (NEA) findings, pointed out. This was a steep increase of 13.2 per cent from a year ago.

While food recycling rates rose for the second consecutive year in 2013, NTUC FairPrice said it was still below the 16 per cent of food waste recycled in 2010.

Additionally, NTUC FairPrice said it plans to work on a long-term partnership with charity organisation Food from the Heart (FFTH). When the framework is launched next year, all FairPrice stores will donate “unsold but still wholesome food products” to the community through FFTH on a regular basis. The initiative will aid in reducing the total amount of food waste while increasing the donation of products to charities, it explained.

Commenting on the new initiative, FFTH Executive Director Anson Quek said: “It will enable FFTH to collect food on a regular basis and will further enhance our capacity to reach out to more families and individuals as well as other charities in our community.”

- CNA/xk