On Wednesday evening, NTUC FairPrice, one of the biggest supermarket chains in Singapore, has announced that they will be withdrawing all paper products sourced from Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP).
Just a recap of what has been going on: APP, one of the largest pulp and paper companies in the world, has been allegedly found to be contributing to the haze. However, the company has denied its involvement, telling reports in Jakata this: “We are a hundred percent certain that we are not involved in the fires. We produce pulp and paper, and timber within our industrial forest concession. It would be illogical to burn our own material.”
With an office in Singapore, the Singapore authorities have sought information about its subsidiaries in Singapore and Indonesia. In response, the company highlighted again that “no supplier has been proven to be involved”. At this moment, NEA has yet to conclude their investigations into APP.
To put things into perspective, here’s a simple version: for big companies, there’re usually many intermediaries, or middlemen if you would like to call it, involved in their business operations and supply chain.
It’s not as simple as a blogshop selling clothes to you, whereby the supply chain comprises just the supplier, the blogshop and you. Between the supplier and the blogshop, and between the blogshop and you, there’re many companies involved. In this case, APP had denied any of their suppliers to be involved, and if they are found to be, they will “stop using them” immediately.
But since the only contact that us consumers have is with the final chain in the supply chain, and that consumers are mostly affected by the haze (let’s say there’re millions of consumers and just a few suppliers), NTUC FairPrice has taken the step to help fight the haze by withdrawing sale of products associated with APP. The move to withdraw stems from SEC’s temporary restriction of the green label. All APP products have been certified with the green label by SEC, including the two housebrand products sourced from them.
These products would include popular ones like Peseo, NICE and Jolly, and it also comprises the two housebrands FairPrice Softpack Tissue 200s and FairPrice Gold 3 Ply Facial Tissue 140s.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO of NTUC FairPrice, said, “FairPrice takes the opportunity to reiterate our firm stance on this matter. We have been proactively monitoring the situation over the past week. We initiated meetings with the various parties concerned when the list of firms including APP, was named by the authorities as suspects for contributing to the haze. As a fair business partner, we reserved taking action pending further information and investigation by the authorities. Our decision to withdraw all APP products is a result of the temporary restriction of their Green Label certification. This reflects our conviction and commitment towards promoting and adopting sustainable practices, as we have done all these years.”
The reason why some products have FairPrice brand but are associated with APP is that there must be a supplier to manufacture these products (think of a laptop: an Acer laptop must have parts supplied by other companies).
Well, now that you know, maybe it’s good enough reason for you to buy some Hello Kitty toilet paper instead?