Haze crisis: Retailers asked to declare source of products

The Singapore Environment Council (SEC) and Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) have asked leading supermarkets, pharmacies and furniture retailers to declare they have not procured or used wood, paper and/or pulp materials from any of the companies accused of causing fires in Indonesia.

These seven retailers are: IKEA, Prime Supermarket, Sheng Siong, NTUC Unity, Watsons, NTUC FairPrice and Dairy Farm Group, which owns Cold Storage, Giant Singapore, Market Place by Jason’s, Guardian and 7-Eleven.

Read also: Is the haze putting brand Singapore under threat?

Following this action, NTUC FairPrice is withdrawing all paper products sourced from Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP), an Indonesian company with an office in Singapore that is being investigated by the National Environmental Agency (NEA). The SEC has also instituted a temporary restriction on the use of the “Singapore Green Label” certification for APP products.

“These major supermarkets, pharmacies and furniture retailers operate several outlets from which consumers purchase paper-based products. They are a good starting point for retailers to commit to a green procurement process and for consumers to show their support for brands that have environmentally friendly practices,” the joint release from SEC and CASE said.

Declaration forms will be sent to the companies on Wednesday, and they are expected to respond within one week.

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NTUC said in a statement: “Following the temporary restriction of the Green Label notification, FairPrice has withdrawn both Housebrand products, which include FairPrice Softpack Tissue 200s and the FairPrice Gold 3 Ply Facial Tissue 140s supplied by APP. Beyond this, FairPrice will also withdraw all APP related products including Paseo, NICE and Jolly."

"We assure customers that FairPrice has alternative brands of paper products, including products with the Green Label, available to meet consumers’ needs."

"All APP products will be withdrawn with immediate effect from all FairPrice stores by 5pm today.”

Meanwhile, Watsons Singapore also released a statement to Marketing. Dominic Wong, chief operating officer of Watsons Singapore, confirmed that the retailer does not stock Paseo, Nice and Jolly brands by APP.

"We are working with all our suppliers to run an audit to ensure that their products supplied to us are not directly procured from the six companies accused of contributing to the haze pollution."

"We would like to reassure all our customers that we are committed to bringing the best in health and beauty to them, which includes sourcing for products in a responsible way that minimizes the impact our business has on the environment," Wong said.

On Monday, ten companies that manufacture paper products sold in Singapore have declared that they do not use products from five companies in Indonesia suspected of contributing to haze pollution.

The ten companies include Kimberly-Clark Malaysia, Fuji Xerox Singapore, Canon Singapore and others.