Singaporean supermarket chains are removing all Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) products from their shelves. According to the newspaper StraitsTimes, NTUC FairPrice, Sheng Siong and Prime Supermarket started to remove APP’s products.
The Dairy Farm group, which operates chains such as Guardian, 7-Eleven, Cold Storage and Giant, has also stopped replenishing APP stock, but it will continue to sell existing items till they run out.
The actions come after the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) temporarily suspended the APP’s exclusive distributor Universal Sovereign Trading’s use of their green label pending further investigations.
The moves also come shortly after FairPrice and 16 other firms were asked by the Singapore Environment Council to sign a declaration form stating that they did not carry products from the five companies being investigated for their possible connection to the forest fires in Indonesia.
On Wednesday (Oct 7), the SEC sent the same form to Prime, Dairy Farm, Sheng Siong, Ikea, Unity Pharmacy and Watsons. FairPrice carries 14 housebrand paper products. Of these, two are sourced from APP through Universal Sovereign. The rest of the products remain unaffected.
The chain also carries 16 other APP related products from various brands – including Paseo, NICE and Jolly. All these items were pulled off the shelves at its over 290 outlets, including Cheers convenience stores, by 5pm on Wednesday.
Late last month, the National Environment Agency (NEA) began legal action against Singapore-listed APP and four Indonesian firms that it believes to be behind the burning.
FairPrice was the first to make the announcement on Wednesday morning, followed by the others later in the day.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, NTUC FairPrice’s executive director, said that FairPrice has been proactively monitoring the situation over the past week.
“As a fair business partner, we reserved taking action pending further information and investigation by the authorities,” he said. “Our decision to withdraw all APP products is a result of the temporary restriction of their Green Label certification.”