NTUC FairPrice’s role during Covid-19 in serving the community

I don’t think you can be a Singaporean without knowing what NTUC FairPrice is. But how many of us actually understand the story and mission behind this supermarket chain?

FairPrice commonly criticised for being expensive

Every time a new announcement is made pertaining to FairPrice, even if it’s good news like giving the Pioneer Generation a 3% discount, you can be sure there will still be people who will criticise and say that it’s not enough. They will ask for more.

Indeed, like the second person has commented “put everyday still got ppl will complain one”. No matter how much NTUC gives, it will never be enough for some people

The Pioneer Generation discount has been extended seven times, since 2014 till end 2021! This is to mitigate the rising costs of living, especially in the face of economic uncertainty during the pandemic.

FairPrice has also launched a 3% discount every Wednesdays for the Merdeka Generation since 2020. All other senior citizens above age 60 also receive a 2% discount every Tuesdays.

Shelves were wiped out due to panic buying

Few Singaporeans can forget what happened last year when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong first announced the change in DORSCON from yellow to orange.


This incident brought to light the importance of ensuring Singapore’s food security. When panic buying happened, essentials like food were wiped off the shelves. When such a situation occurs, the vulnerable and lower income families are at a huge disadvantage. Why? Because they are less likely to have “stock” for items at home. Also, when essential items like food are in scarcity, prices are likely to be driven up as well. Those who are well-off are less affected as they can afford to pay more to obtain these products even if such a case were to occur.

Serving as a benchmark for prices of essential goods

Hence, FairPrice plays a two-pronged role in such a scenario.

Firstly, FairPrice serves as a benchmark for the pricing of all household items. Even though it doesn’t promise to always be the cheapest, FairPrice will moderate costs, thus preventing unscrupulous businesses from raising prices indiscriminately during times of scarcity.

FairPrice toilet paper

In addition, FairPrice also imposed a restriction on toilet rolls and paper products being bought then to ensure that more people can obtain what they need. This shows that it has the people’s welfare at heart, rather than profit. An organisation driven by profit would be most happy if customers were to clear and buy all their stocks since they earn from such incidences.

Secondly, FairPrice also aims to tackle and strengthen Singapore’s food security by having multiple supply chains. Food security and scarcity is not child’s play. The current generation may not have lived through war nor have first-hand experience at this. However, just imagine if our food supplies from overseas really stopped during Covid-19. This would have caused a survival crisis, on top of the issues that the virus poses.

Ensuring food security by maintaining alternative supply chains

Back when a Covid-19 cluster broke out in the Jurong Fishery Port, FairPrice staff sprang to the action immediately to ensure that there would be sufficient fishes and seafood from alternative sources. In his Facebook post, Labour MP and CEO of FairPrice Seah Kian Peng shared that the team worked till 5am on Sunday morning to do so.

Instead of always hurling criticism at them, some appreciation should be given to the staff for their hard work. Not only did they sacrifice their weekend to do so, they even worked overnight.

Thankfully, many netizens were appreciative of this gesture and expressed their thanks towards the staff.

Similarly, during the recent closure of Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre, FairPrice also stepped in and reassured the public that there would be sufficient vegetable and fruit supplies.

FairPrice on wheels – To safeguard the elderly’s safety

FairPrice on wheels

Another initiative that FairPrice had introduced during Covid-19 to benefit the community was FairPrice on wheels. As the elderly are most vulnerable to the virus, this initiative sought to reduce their risk of exposure by bringing essential goods to their neighbourhoods instead.

More than just a supermarket

FairPrice is more than just a supermarket and are driven by their mission to serve the community. We hope more netizens and Singaporeans will come to understand the effort behind these initiatives and what FairPrice truly stands for.

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