MRCA launches F&B division to represent voice, plight of retailers

The division will lobby for, among others, fair charges by delivery platform, anti-competition behaviour and dine-in for vaccinated patrons ASAP


THE Malaysian Retail Chain Association’s (MRCA) newly launched food and beverage (F&B) division will lobby for the extension and improvement of the Covid-19 Act to protect and preserve retail businesses.

MRCA said it will also push for fair charges by delivery platform and anti-competition behaviour.

“We will also be lobbying for dine-in for vaccinated patrons as soon as possible (and) business recovery funding for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as for government-initiated mediation on outstanding rent issues between landlords and tenants during MCOs (Movement Control Orders),” said the F&B division head Datuk Seri Garry Chua (picture).

On Monday, the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) said it is closely monitoring and assessing the high fees imposed by food delivery platform companies in light of the public outcry over the matter.

MyCC said it is also looking at whether the conduct of these companies is in contravention of the Competition Act 2010.

Meanwhile, Chua noted that the impact of the pandemic is worse than the 1998 economic crisis, albeit 70% of the retailers are struggling to make ends meet.

“This has turned out very serious and jammed a lot of cashflow in the businesses sector,” he explained during a virtual press conference yesterday.

Among the six main objectives of the division is to form a body of retailers specialising in the F&B industry from among MRCA members, in order to assist and support each other in matters of business.

The division members are expected to gain invaluable opportunities by leveraging on the cordial relationships between MRCA and various government bodies.

“The members are expected to gain invaluable opportunities to raise business-related issues and gain unhindered access to firsthand information from the authorities that would greatly benefit their respective businesses,” Chua said.

“In anticipation of a business rebound post-pandemic era, the division shall organise relevant workshops and training to ensure MRCA members are well prepared to adapt to the new consumer trends and behaviour in the future.

“Trainings, programmes, social and business networking events for the division will also be arranged to encourage collaboration, goodwill and better understanding.”

Members of the F&B division will also be equipped with the right skills, information and training to expand and develop their businesses.

“It will also be used to promote and advance the professional development of the division in the retail chain business and franchise industry, and support the MRCA in achieving or attaining objectives as well as to do all other lawful things that are conducive to the aforementioned objectives,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the division launch is imperative for business owners to make a move forward.

“To work in the F&B sector is important as it will also enhance one of Malaysia’s unique points as Malaysians love their food.

“Not to mention, among the largest tourism sector contributors is retail trade, and a number of the receipts go into cuisine and food,” she said at the launch.