About Prima

 
History  
  The Founder  
  Corporate Philosophy  
Corporate Structure  
Milestones  
  Career Opportunities  

 

 
Milestones of The 60's
 

1961
Mr Cheng Tsang Man establishes Prima Limited, the first flourmill in Southeast Asia.

1963

The Singapore flour mill commences operations with a daily milling capacity of 230 tonnes of wheat grain and a silo capacity of 20,000 tonnes.

Production is mainly for domestic market initially.


Dr Goh Keng Swee, then Minister of Finance, cutting the ribbon at the official inauguration of Prima's first mill on 18th August, 1963.
Looking on is Mr Cheng Tsang Man (far left).


1964-1965
The daily milling capacity of the Singapore mill is increased to 700 tonnes by the addition of two mills, in order to meet demand in the export market.

1969
Prima Limited becomes a public company listed on the then Stock Exchange of Singapore and Malaysia. A new silo complex is added to the Singapore mill, increasing the total storage capacity to 52,000 tonnes.

 

 
Milestones of The 70's
 
 

1970
PT Prima Indonesia, our first overseas investment, is established in Ujung Pandang (Makassar), Indonesia. This flour mill commences operations in 1973 with a daily milling capacity of 1,100 tonnes and a silo capacity of 40,000 tonnes.

1977
Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant, the world’s only restaurant located on top of wheat silos, is opened for business in Singapore.

Prima Ceylon Limited, the world’s largest flourmilling complex under one roof, is set up in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, with the conclusion of an investment agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka.

The mill commences operations in 1980 with a daily milling capacity of 2,500 tonnes and a silo capacity of 110,000 tonnes.

 

 
 
Milestones of The 80's
 
 

1980
Computerisation is introduced as a first step towards strengthening the management information systems of the Singapore office, the headquarters of the Prima Group.

1981
Prima Ceylon Limited sets up a model bakery in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for the production of quality bread and confectionery on a non-profit making basis.

1982
Ceylon Grain Elevators Limited, a public listed company in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is established to pioneer integrated feedmilling in the country. It also handles bagging and transshipment operations of free-flowing grains. It commences operations in 1984 with a production capacity of 30 tonnes per hour.

Prima divests its investment in PT Prima Indonesia

1984
Office automation was implemented to complement the existing computer system in the Singapore office and further enhance our management effectiveness and resource utilisation.

1985

Prima Limited enters into a joint venture agreement with Yantai Cereals Oil & Foodstuff Industrial Corporation to set up flourmilling company Xinyan Foods Company Limited in Yantai, Shandong Province, the People’s Republic of China.

This is Prima’s first transfer of its flourmilling technology.

The company commences operations in 1987.

Prima Limited sets up an in-house R&D unit with the objective of enhancing its market position in the food sector by developing new products to meet the exacting specifications of customers.

This unit is staffed by specialist research personnel and equipped with advanced laboratory and testing facilities.

The test kitchen - an essential development tool in our R&D.

1986
Prima Limited enters into two more joint ventures in the People’s Republic of China.

Yantai Xinzhongxin Feeds Limited is established with Yantai Feeds Corporation to produce concentrates and premix feed products. Qingdao Xinghua Cereal Oil and Foodstuff Company Limited is established with Qingdao Municipal Jiaonan County Cereals & Oils Processing Factory to produce and sell all types of flour and by-products.

Yantai Xinzhongxin Feeds Limited commences commercial operations in 1988 while Qingdao Xinghua Cereal Oil and Foodstuff Company Limited commences milling activities a year later.

To commemorate Prima’s 25th Anniversary and to affirm our belief that our human resource is one of the most important assets, the Prima 25th Anniversary Scholarship Fund is established for our employees’ children.

Prima embarks on the modernization of its flourmilling operations. It renews and transforms its flourmill into a technologically advanced and automated computerized one. The company also introduces value-added bakery premixes to its line of products.

These products also meet the needs of customers in assisting them to enhance their production efficiency.

 
 
Milestones of The 90's
 
 

1991
Prima Limited acquires Asian Food Services Pte Ltd and renames the company Prima Food Services Pte Ltd (PFS). The acquisition also includes the businesses and assets of Wattie Food Services Pte Ltd.

Prima Limited takes a 60% stake in Prima Modern Machinery Pte Ltd (PMM). PMM’s main business is in the distribution of bakery machinery and food equipment.

Prigo Agro-Industries Pte Ltd is incorporated as an investment holding company with Prima Limited holding a 51% stake.

1992
Confectionery Transformation Pte Ltd (CT) launches PrimaDeli, the first homegrown bakery and confectionery franchise in Singapore, under the auspices of the then National Productivity Board (NPB) (now known as Spring Singapore).

CT is majority owned by PFS Pte Ltd. Prima Limited enters into an agreement with NPB to jointly set up the Prima-NPB Bakery Industry Training Centre (now known as Prima-Spring Singapore Bakery Industry Training Centre).

The Centre is established with the objective of training and upgrading the skills of local bakers. The Centre begins operations in 1993.

Prigo Agro-Industries Pte Ltd acquires a 55% stake in Ceylon Oils and Fats Limited from the Sri Lanka Government. The latter’s name is changed to Ceylon Agro-Industries Limited to reflect the new ownership and direction of the company.

Prima acquires its first commercial property in Chicago, USA.

1993

Prima Limited obtains ISO9002 Certification. Prima Food Pte Ltd moves into a newly established S$4.4 million central production facility to cater to the expanding requirements of the PrimaDeli franchise.

 


1995
Prima’s Computer Services Department introduces its point-of-sales (POS) system, which has gained wide acceptance amongst leading retailers.

1996
Prima Limited acquires the other 40% of Prima Modern Machinery Pte Ltd from the other shareholder, making the company a wholly-owned subsidiary.

1997
Ceylon Agro-Industries Limited introduces the PRIMArt franchise – a chain of one-stop specialty food shops in Sri Lanka.

1998
PFS Pte Ltd acquires a 30% stake in Foodfare Catering Pte Ltd (FFC), a joint venture between PFS, NTUC-Foodfare Co-operative Ltd and MicLionel & King International Pte Ltd.
FFC is engaged principally in the industrial catering business.

Prima Taste is developed and introduced to the foodservice industry. A range of Singapore’s hawker favourites in ready-to-cook pastes, Prima Taste is the first food manufacturing venture for PFS.

1999
In recognition of its professional full-format franchising system, PrimaDeli is named Domestic Franchisor of the Year 1998 at the Franchise Excellence Awards. The awards are presented by PSB, TDB and Arthur Andersen Business Consulting.

2000
Prima Limited restructures its food manufacturing and services arm. Prima Food Services Pte Ltd is renamed PFS Pte Ltd to focus on F&B service operations. At the same time, Confectionery Transformation Pte Ltd is renamed Prima Food Pte Ltd to better reflect the new emphasis in the areas of value-added food manufacturing and bakery franchising.

Prima Food Pte Ltd receives the internationally-recognised HACCP certification for the production of PrimaDeli frozen dough for buns, breads and pastries as well as bakery fillings. This certification is awarded by PSB in recognition of the company's exacting food safety and hygiene standards.

The PrimaDeli bakery franchise receives the Singapore Franchise Mark, a certification scheme administered jointly by PSB and the Singapore International Franchise Association. The Mark is a symbol of quality that is awarded to franchisors and master franchisees that have achieved a certain standard in their business practices, management capabilities and business performance.

In June, the first Prima Taste concept restaurant opens in Centrepoint on Orchard Road. Prima Taste Restaurant is a quickservice eatery serving a selection of the Prima Taste range of dishes. The unique décor blends a touch of old Singapore with the new. And floor-to-ceiling murals and photo essays depicting Singapore hawkers in the fifties to seventies provide the perfect backdrop for the authentic Singapore cuisine served at the restaurant. There is also an open-concept kitchen which allows customers to view the preparation of the dishes using the Prima Taste products.

Prima Modern Machinery Pte Ltd begins marketing the Easy Bake Bread Maker from Australia, in response to growing interest in home bread making.

To complement the bread maker, Prima launches a new range of bread premixes under the PrimaMix brand. PrimaMix bread mixes contain just the right amount of all the ingredients needed for a perfect loaf, including a sachet of yeast. Users only need to add water. The range includes High Fibre White, Multigrain, Wholemeal, Brioche and Focaccia, with more to follow.


The Prima Group head office in Malaysia

In September, Prima's Malaysian operations move into a new head office located at Temasya Industrial Park. With a land area of 19,200 sq ft and built-up area of 14,600 sq ft, the premises house the offices, showroom, warehouse and engineering workshop.

December marks the opening of the first PrimaDeli bakery in Malaysia. This is the first PrimaDeli bakery outside Singapore, with more to follow.

 
 
Milestones of The New Millennium
 
  2001
In June, a significant milestone is recorded in Prima Ceylon Limited's history when the company converts from a build-operate-transfer project to one of build-own-operate. Under the new operations, Prima Ceylon Limited is no longer a contract miller for the Sri Lanka Government, but purchases and mills its wheat, and distributes and markets the flour.

Prima Food Pte Ltd signs a 30-year lease for a new central production facility in Tuas.

As a result of restructuring to streamline and achieve total integrated poultry operations, Ceylon Grain Elevators Limited absorbs the distribution and marketing of processed chicken from Ceylon Agro-Industries Limited in October.

2002
PrimaDeli is awarded Superbrand status for its market dominance, longevity, goodwill, customer loyalty and overall market acceptance.

Prima Taste introduces ambient temperature shelf-stable foodservice packs with a longer shelf life.

Prima-PSB Baking Industry Training Centre is renamed Prima-SPRING Singapore Baking Industry Training Centre in line with PSB's change of name.

Xinyan Foods Company Limited introduces a high-grade "green" organic flour.


2003
In June, PrimaDeli receives a merit award at the Comfort Ads Cannes Creative Challenge for its Mango Delight taxi-top. The taxi-top ad is part of its 10th Anniversary campaign.

In July, the Prima Taste retail packs are officially launched offering even greater convenience for today's small households. The retail packs - with servings ranging from 2 and up - come complete with essential ingredients and condiments. The packs are available at leading supermarkets in Singapore, Prima Taste restaurants and selected PrimaDeli bakeries.

In August, the Prima Taste premium gift packs are launched in support of the initiative by the Singapore Tourism Board and SPRING Singapore to promote food gifts to tourists. The unique pack featuring a hand-made straw pouch wins the Singapore Star, Asia Star and Best Food awards for packaging design and product innovation.

In September, the first Prima Taste restaurant outside Singapore opens in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is followed closely by Manila, The Philippines. As part of the Prima Taste globalisation strategy, licensees are being sought to establish and operate Prima Taste concept restaurants in key markets around the world.

In October, the new Prima Taste ready meals range are launched. Each meal pack serves one and is a complete dish on its own, ready to serve after a quick microwave. The meal packs are available at leading convenience stores in Singapore.

Another two more Prima Taste restaurants outside Singapore open in Sydney, Australia in October and November.

2004

In May, BITC signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Kendall College in Chicago to provide a wider scope of training and professional development opportunities for both instructors and students.

In July, the new improved packaging for Prima Taste Ready Meals is launched with the introduction of 3 new variants; namely Nonya Sambal Chicken With Rice, Braised Soya Chicken With Rice and Assam Fish With Rice. Each meal pack serves one and is a complete dish on its own, ready to serve after a quick microwave. The meal packs are available at leading convenience stores and selected supermarkets in Singapore.

In September, Prima Baking Training Centre is established in Colombo to provide practical training to practitioners and promote modern baking techniques in Sri Lanka.

In October, BITC donates a further $20,000 and launches 5 baking scholarships worth a total of $50,000 in support of a sustained career development programme for CARE's students.

Prima Taste is conferred the Superbrands Award by independent arbitrator, the Superbrands Singapore Council.

Another two more Prima Taste restaurants open in Manila, The Philippines, and Perth, Western Australia, in September and October respectively.

2005

In March, one more Prima Taste restaurant opens in San Jose, California, USA.

In May, PrimaDeli introduces its new range of low-sugar cakes for the health-conscious. The range includes Strawberry Classic, Yummy Yam, Coffee Break and Green Field.

In June, a new range of versatile sauces for delicious yet fuss-free Asian cooking known as Prima Taste 'Authentic Asia' is launched. The variants include Sweet & Spicy Seafood Sauce, Curry Seafood Sauce, Sambal Chilli, Garlic Chilli Sauce and Premium Black Pepper Sauce. Harnessing the robust flavours of the freshest premium Asian spices, herbs and ingredients in compact sachets, the Authentic Asia sauces offer the versatility to whip up a wide variety of sumptuous Asian delights. They also make delightful dips to complement a wide variety of Asian fare.

In September, Prima is conferred the SPBA Heritage Brand Award by Lianhe Zaobao and ASME. This prestigious award serves to acknowledge and pays special attention to time-honoured home-grown brands which have embraced exceptional brand practices over a period of at least 40 years.

Prima Taste opens a flagship Prima Taste restaurant in Shanghai, China. This officially kicks off Prima Taste's new franchise programme and strategic plan to become a leading international restaurant franchise with its 'True Singapore Cuisine' chain of restaurants.