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Thailand asks expertise from Dutch Food Valley

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Thailand asks expertise from Dutch Food Valley

March 03
10:07 2013
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Wageningen, the Netherlands – The Dutch based FoodValley will coach Thailand in its plans to set up a FoodValley programme. This was agreed during a recent visit of the Thai Minister of Industry Prasert Boonchaisuk to the Netherlands.

According to the Minister, the establishment of a Thai Food Valley is crucial to further strengthen the position of the agrofood sector in Thailand, mainly in the fields of food safety and product innovation. “This requires better coordination of research institutes and challenges commercial food companies are faced with. The way the Dutch Food Valley is organized impresses us and therefore we have asked this organization for support and coaching”, said Boonchaisuk.

The last two years, the initiators of the Thai Food Valley programme – the Ministries of Industry, Science and Technology and Agriculture and Cooperatives – have already done some necessary work to gain interest and support for the Thai Food Valley concept. For 2013, the Ministries have allocated US$158.8 million (121 million euros) to put the ideas into practice. The money will be used to set up a Food Valley Committee, to launch a pilot project in the North and North-Eastern regions of Thailand and to provide training on food safety issues.

“We will coach Thailand on the development of the organizational structure and advice them on the best way to attract businesses that will form the backbone of the Thai Food Valley. We will also assist in the development of business-oriented services based on the needs of Thai companies”, according to Roger van Hoesel, Director of Food Valley in the Netherlands. Van Hoesel is proud that the Netherlands can support Thailand in this. “Also Dutch companies can benefit from it. Having a sister organization in Thailand provides an opening for Dutch companies in the ASEAN area,” according to Van Hoesel.

The food industry in Thailand is impressive. Thai exports of food are estimated to reach US$34 billion (25 billion euros) in 2013. That is an increase of 6 % from 2012. The main export products are poultry, tapioca, rice, shrimp, tuna and herbs and spices. By having a Thai Food Valley, the country aims to increase the food exports with 10 % per year in the future.

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