These Singaporeans have that one special person who they consider their everyday hero. Find out who they are and how they have made a positive difference in their lives.
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Read about these amazing stories of our everyday heroes who have touched the lives of many. Kudos to all of them!
Pore over the milestones we have achieved and discover untold stories which have bonded FairPrice to the Nation for the past decades.
The early 1970s was a volatile period fraught with social and economic turbulence. Food prices were rising out of control due to the global oil crisis and profiteering was rife. NTUC Welcome was born during this difficult period with the aim of moderating the cost of living.
To enhance the objective of maintaining fair prices, NTUC Welcome and Singapore Employees Co-operative merged to form NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd. This enabled the Co-operative to take advantage of economies of scale in bulk buying, bargaining power and savings on overheads - benefits that were passed on to customers.
FairPrice introduced its own range of housebrand products to offer customers quality goods at great value and savings. Today, there are over 2,000 products in six sub-brands under the FairPrice Housebrand umbrella.
FairPrice was the first supermarket retailer to implement barcoding at its checkout counters, which greatly enhanced productivity.
Everyday Low Price (EDLP) was introduced to help Singaporeans cope with the rising cost of living. FairPrice monitors the prices of a basket of EDLP essentials every week to make sure they offer the best value.
FairPrice absorbed the 3 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) for a year after the tax was introduced.
Cheers was FairPrice's first 24-hour convenience chain with more than 130 outlets islandwide, offering round-the-clock shopping convenience to customers.
NTUC FairPrice took full ownership of its warehouse and distribution company, a joint venture set up in 1993, and renamed it Grocery Logistics of Singapore Pte Ltd (GLS).
Launched to provide additional savings - today, more than 630,000 FairPrice members enjoy added benefits through the LinkPoints loyalty programme.
FairPrice Online was launched to serve internet-savvy customers and offer busy working adults the convenience of online grocery shopping.
Seniors aged 60 and above enjoy a 2 percent discount when they shop at any FairPrice stores on Tuesdays. Aside from cheaper grocery bills, this scheme has encouraged seniors to stay active by shopping with their families.
"I joined on New Year's Eve in 1976. It was my first time in the real world, just finished my exams - and I worked 13 hours straight! My cousin, who was a store hand, got me the job although he was quite reluctant to introduce me at first. I was a young girl, and he thought I could not last the distance.
But here I am - 27 years later! In the beginning, I sort of just stuck it through because jobs were so scarce, the pay was $160 a month. Now, I have gained quite a lot of skills. I am good at cashiering and the company of course is very much different - bigger, more stable and I have been happy here."
- Ms. Chua Choon Kee
"I feel good and positive about working at FairPrice. Everyone is courteous and nice to one another. Plus some customers are nice to us as well, regardless of regulars or new ones. I met my husband here. He was a customer whose regular routine was going to the bank next door before coming by FairPrice.
Working in FairPrice gives me a sense of stability. We're like a family working together. My branch managers and supervisors treat me very well, and are willing to teach me along the way in the course of my work."
Madam Harbin Kaur remembers buying tidbits for her siblings when she accompanied her parents to the FairPrice outlet at Serangoon Gardens more than 20 years ago.
"It was a small shop. We bought milk, biscuits and cereals. The goods were stacked and some of them were in sacks. Not very exciting compared to what we see now, of course. But then, it was 'shopping experience' for us because there was all this grocery and goods in one place. We loved going there. I would like to go there and see what I could get away with asking my parents to buy." she said.
FairPrice became the first supermarket retailer in Singapore to build, own and manage a Fresh Food Distribution Centre (FFDC). FairPrice was the first supermarket chain in Singapore to be awarded the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System certification in July 2012.
For housewife Sadiah Anwar, FairPrice is a quick thumbprint for all of Singapore.
"If you want to know Singapore, shop at FairPrice. There is no Singaporean who needs to feel awkward stepping into a FairPrice store, thinking, wah, can I afford this? You are comfortable because you know it is home grown," she says.
Madam Sadiah, who is in her 40s, has been shopping at FairPrice for some 20 years, starting with buying tidbits for her four siblings, then to groceries for her family, and now, supplies for her own household of three.
Mr. Jagtiani has both nostalgic and practical reasons to like FairPrice.
"I say that FairPrice provides Number One value for money. It is the most affordable generally. We do shop at others but it is usually for emergencies - like a few items such as eggs and bread," he said.
He says that he has been "shopping at FairPrice since I was a kid, and they looked like a provision store then." Over the years, he finds that the greatest change has been the staff. They have become more professional.
His most common purchases are the staple - rice, sugar, instant noodles, most of his family's groceries.
"I started working at FairPrice when I was 20 years old, as a cashier. Now, I am supervising some 10 people, in the ordering department. At the Shaw Plaza outlet, I take care of all the ordering, for all the three departments - grocery, non-foods and general merchandise, which is the household products department.
Working on the job, I get to learn a lot more about the names of exotic fruits, specialized household products - you name it, and I would have to know it. This is part of the excitement, to learn the trade and to learn, at the same time, the foodstuff and household items that people buy to make their lives better, over the years."
"I used to work with my relative before and in comparison, working in FairPrice is a lot more hard work! But the salary is good and I appreciate the chance to work in a big organisation.
I think we provide good service to the customers. We will exchange the goods for customers if they are not happy with the quality. Not many companies will do this."
"FairPrice is a different place from the private companies where I came from. It has quite strong emphasis on unions. That's quite natural, as it is a union-based co-operative itself. Private companies work for profit. But here, it is more for the welfare of workers, and to stabilise prices in Singapore."
"I am with a very specialised department - the Fresh Food task force. Fresh food brings good business for us, but it really has to be fresh. The secret to this department is that there are supposed to be no secrets - everything has to be transparent.
You can't bluff the customer. The date you slaughter the chicken, fillet the fish, you have to state it there, and if it is more than a day old, you may have to mark it down. So the difference is in the people - I am in charge of recruiting and interviewing butchers. How skilled you are in filleting a fish makes a difference in how much meat you take off, and how much you leave on the bones. This makes a difference to the bottom line."
Just Wine Club was launched to serve customers with a burgeoning interest in wine appreciation. Through the years, the club has attracted a warm, inclusive circle of wine lovers. For a nominal annual fee, budding wine connoisseurs and experts alike can take part in activities that range from talks by wine experts to wine tasting.
Based on a hypermart retail format, FairPrice Xtra was designed to provide a one-stop shopping experience for the whole family. Customers can shop for groceries and a wide range of general merchandise, including electronics, clothing and toys.
The FairPrice Green Rewards initiative was implemented to reward customers who brought their own grocery bags.
FairPrice joined hands with OCBC Bank to offer customers simple banking solutions, called FairPrice Plus!
As the population grew more affluent over the years, FairPrice Finest was launched to cater to changing lifestyles. Even as it met new demand for goods that extended beyond daily necessities, it continued to make sure customers got value for money.
FairPrice and ExxonMobil converted the petrol marts at Esso and Mobil service stations to FairPrice Xpress and Cheers convenience stores. Customers can enjoy the convenience of 24-hour grocery shopping and other services, seven days a week.
The Stretch Your Dollar programme, which first ran from 2007 to 2009, gave customers a 5% discount on 500 essential housebrand products and offered tips to help them combat inflation.
FairPrice buffers customers from global events that have an adverse effect on food prices. It was the first supermarket retailer to drop rice prices during the global rice crisis.
Where necessary, FairPrice acts swiftly to stabilise the prices of essentials. From November 2011 to March 2013, it froze the prices of housebrand rice from Thailand and Vietnam when floods in Southeast Asia affected supply.
A new NTUC FairPrice logo was unveiled by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.
To help customers stretch their grocery dollar, FairPrice introduced a range of over 200 "Yellow Dot" basic items that are 20 to 25 per cent cheaper than comparable top national brands.
FairPrice debuted on Facebook with 1,000 fans in the first 3 hours of launch.
FairPrice opened Singapore's first eco-friendly supermarket at City Square Mall, designed with the basic principles of "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" in mind.
It was a memorable moment when FairPrice opened its 100th store to further its objective of making essential goods available everywhere.
To diversify food sources and keep prices competitive, FairPrice added Australia to its stable of contract farms, which includes over 80 contract farming agreements with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
To connect better with customers, FairPrice launched an iPhone app in 2012 to help customers plan their grocery shopping.
FairPrice collaborated with OCBC Bank and NTUC Link, to open the first Plus! Lite branch at FairPrice Xtra @ Jurong Point to allow customers to do their banking while they shop for groceries.
FairPrice Share-A-Textbook project first started in 1983 with only 30,000 books collected. Now in its 30th year, a total of 350,000 textbooks were collected to benefit 18,500 needy students. To further ease the burden of hefty school fees, FairPrice gave away S$650,000 worth of study grants to 700 students in need. Changkat Changi Secondary School, Yio Chu Kang Secondary School and Yuan Ching Secondary School served as distribution points, with 109 organisatons and over 650 volunteers from Supporting and Community Partners participating in the initiative.
The FairPrice Volunteers Programme was launched to encourage greater volunteerism amongst FairPrice staff through a structured approach, which aims to increase staff volunteer hours to 2,300 hours per year by 2016. In addition, the launch recognised 13 volunteer leaders from various departments who led fellow colleagues to participate in volunteer activities, together with partners such as Food from the Heart, Ren Ci and YMCA.
FairPrice introduced an assistance programme, SME Suppliers Support & Development Programme (SSDP), for local SMEs to help them cope with business challenges and grow their businesses. The year-long programme aimed to support 1,000 local SME partners by easing their cash flow pressure, managing rising business cost, enhancing their capabilities and promoting their locally made products.
Cheers, an established outlet with over 130 stores strategically located islandwide since it was set up 15 years ago announced a new franchise programme at the first franchised Cheers store at Choa Chu Kang. The franchise programme seeks to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship among Singaporeans, inject new energy into the Cheers brand and boost business growth to provide more convenience to customers.
Aimed to inspire youths and the broader community to do good, FairPrice Foundation launched its first public education initiative, "Do Good Campaign", at Front Plaza of Plaza Singapura, on its fifth anniversary. The campaign uses both social and activation platforms to encourage youths to pledge to do good and hopes to bring across the message that small deeds can make big differences.
On 16 November, some 160 FairPrice employees and customers gathered for the "Come Plant-A-Tree with FairPrice" activity, as FairPrice supports 50 Years of Greening Singapore by NParks and marks its 40th anniversary by planting 40 tree saplings.
To involve the community, FairPrice invited ardent FairPrice Facebook fans and ran an online contest for customers to have an opportunity to be part of the tree planting activity. To participate in the contest, they had to share the reason why they wanted to plant a tree for the community. Over 40 winners were chosen from the entries where they can bring a friend or family member to join them at the tree planting activity. The entries reflected Singaporeans' love for nature and care for the environment. Two types of tree saplings were planted at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park (River Plains) - the Geiger Tree and Australian Flame Tree. FairPrice also contributed $8,000 to the "1963 Commemorative Tree Planting Project" by NParks; the funds will be used to cover the cost of the tree saplings being planted and also to enhance the biodiversity of the Singapore Botanic Gardens and preserve its rich heritage.
NTUC FairPrice kicked off its inaugural walking event on 29 June 2013 in an effort to promote healthy lifestyle and family bonding. Over 5,000 people attended the inaugural "FairPrice Walks With U" event held at the Marina Barrage.In conjunction with the walk, FairPrice Foundation donated $1 million towards the FairPrice Food Voucher Scheme to help needy families purchase daily necessities.
The participants of the Walk had a great time with their families, enjoying the scenic walk set against Singapore's famous landmarks like the Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer and the iconic Cloud Forest and Flower Dome at the Gardens by the Bay.
Modern heroes live amongst us every day. People who inspire us, who help realise who we are and who believe in us. They help us find our deep-seated confidence to fulfil our dreams. They are our tower of strength in times of trouble and uncertainty. For what they have contributed into our lives, they have asked for nothing in return. As we celebrate Golden Jubilee year, we want to salute and thank these very people who have, in their quiet dedication, given or contributed selflessly to help make our present a reality.
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