Keep food prices low: 1 social enterprise $380m profits, what about all social enterprises’ profits?

Marina Bay, Singapore – Photo: Leonid Yaitsky via Flickr, used under Creative Commons License (By 2.0)Marina Bay, Singapore – Photo: Leonid Yaitsky via Flickr, used under Creative Commons License (By 2.0)

How much profits does NTUC Foodfare make – NTUC Fairprice had $380 million profits?

I refer to the article “HDB, NTUC ensuring affordable food options” (Sunday Times, Jul 15).

It states that “The Housing Board and the labour movement are taking steps to tackle the rising cost of living by ensuring food choices stay affordable at hawker centres and coffee shops.

Later this year, HDB will look at other factors, including whether an operator has a variety of affordable food options, when evaluating tenders for coffee shops, in addition to the bidding price.

This price-quality method will replace the current system, which has been in place since 2004 and awards tenders to those who put in the highest bids.”

As to “He was speaking on the sidelines of the official opening of Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre run by NTUC Foodfare, which manages more than 100 food and beverage outfits islandwide” – I visited NTUC Foodfare’s web site to try to find its profits or losses in its annual report, but it said “annual report – coming soon“.

So, how much profits or losses does NTUC Foodfare make?

With regard to “Separately, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is committed to using its social enterprises to set industry price benchmarks to help keep daily necessities affordable, said its secretary-general Ng Chee Meng yesterday” – I looked at the annual report of one of its social enterprises, and found that NTUC FairPrice’s group profits before contributions to the Central Co-operative Fund and the Singapore Labour Foundation, was $379.7 million in 2017.

How much are the combined profits of the nine NTUC social enterprises?

So, if NTUC Foodfare, being a co-operative (non-profit?) makes less profits (assuming that it does since its annual report in “coming soon”)  – will food prices be lower? – if NTUC FairPrice makes less profits – will “daily necessities” be lower? – if some or all of the NTUC social enterprises make less profits – will Singapore drop out of being the most expensive city in the world for the fifth consecutive year, according to the Economist?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.