Business

Singapore retailers grilled over products linked to haze

FairPrice supermarket in Singapore Image copyright AFP
Image caption Singapore is cracking down on retailers that use materials from firms accused of causing pollution with forest fires

Singapore is putting pressure on major retailers in Singapore to not use or sell materials produced by firms linked to fires in Indonesia.

Seven firms, including major supermarkets such as NTUC FairPrice and IKEA, have been asked declare they are not doing so within a week.

The forest fires in Indonesia have deteriorated Singapore's air quality, causing a blanket of haze in the city.

FairPrice has said it removing products from one Indonesian firm.

The state-owned supermarket giant said that it was removing all paper products sourced from Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP), following the notification from the government.

APP has been named by Singapore authorities as one of the companies suspected of contributing to the haze.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAsia Pulp and Paper says it is "losing the battle" against fires on its concessions

What is behind the South East Asia haze?

In a joint statement, the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) and Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) said they had asked the retailers to declare that they have "not procured or used wood, paper and/or pulp materials" from firms accused of contributing to the fires.

The SEC said retailers were "a good starting point" for firms to show their commitment to sustainable procurement processes and "for consumers to show their support for brands that have environmentally friendly practices"

The haze has caused hazardous air quality across the region. It has led to the cancellation of public events and schools closure over the past month, in Singapore as well as in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Anger has been rising in the region, with increasing pressure on the Indonesian government to control the annual burning of forests to clear land for palm oil and rubber plantations.

More on this story