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The 17th ICA Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on “Management of Consumer Co-operatives” was held in Singapore from 25th to 27th July. The workshop was organized under the aegis of the ICA-AP Consumer Committee and hosted by NTUC Fairprice (Singapore). 19 co-operators and 3 observers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Japan attended the three-day training workshop. The objectives of the workshop were to: learn effective operation of the small- medium sized store; study the experiences of two organizations; and to establish an international network of consumer cooperative leaders and managers.


Participants of the Workshop at the Fairprice Training Institute.


The program started with a welcome address by Mr Amano Haruyoshi, Manager, International Department, Japanese Consumer Cooperative Union (JCCU). This was followed by lectures by NTUC Fairprice staff on "Overview of NTUC Fairprice" by Ms. Juliana Tan, Training and Development Manager; "Retail Operation of NTUC Fairprice", by Mr Traves Tan General Manager, Supermarkets and Fairprice Shop; "Products, Placement, Pricing, Promotion, House-brand & Trading" of NTUC Fairprice by Mr Tng Ah Yiam, Deputy CEO; and "Supply Chain Management of NTUC Fairprice" by Mr Mark Teo, Deputy Director, Fresh Food and Logistics.  


The second day of the training began with, two case studies on "Effective Operation of the Small - Medium sized store" presented by Ms Adeline Woo, Group Manager, Fairprice Store ; and Ms Nguyen Bich Ly, Director, Co.op Food, Saigon Co.op (Vietnam). After the lectures, group discussion session was held on the topics, "What are the key learning points for business of NTUC Fairprice?"; "What are the features and strategies of the Fairprice Shop and Co.op Food Chain? "; and "What kind of store will be suitable for meet the requirements in your community? " This was followed by a debriefing on the presentation by Ms Tan. During the afternoon, the participants visited NTUC Fairprice’s stores (Warehouse Club, Fairprice Xtra, Fairprice supermarket, Farirprice Shop) and the NTUC Fairprice Distribution Centre.


On the third day, each participating organization presented what it had learnt from the workshop as well as an action plan. This was also a means for sharing information among the participants. Several participants praised the program and were confident of sharing their learning with other co-operators in their country.