By Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn
Royal Foods, a leading local manufacturer canned fruits, vegetables and seafood, will invest Bt600 million on a second plant in Vietnam.
Mongkol Banthrarungroj, vice chair-|man and managing director of Thai |Corp International, which is Royal Foods’ partner in Vietnam, said the second plant |in Vinh City, Nghe An province, will also |have a 10,000-tonne cold-storage unit.
He added that construction will begin in August, and that the plant should start production by November next year. The new facility is expected to can up to 100 tonnes of sardines and mackerel per day.
Royal Foods set up its first fish-canning plant in Vietnam’s Tien Giang province in 2007. The plant, which is 75 kilometres south of Ho Chi Minh City, produces more 200 tonnes of canned fish daily and employs 700 workers.
“While the first plant takes care of the southern region of Vietnam, the second facility will source sardines and mackerel from the central region and will cover the market in the north,” Mongkol said.
He said that Royal Foods’ canned fish products, especially the “Three Lady Cooks” brand, are being distributed in Vietnam by Thai Corp International via more than 50,000 wholesale and retail outlets via the country. Berli Jucker, Thailand’s leading trading and manufacturing company, owns a 75-per-cent stake in the Thai Corp International.
Mongkol has been doing business in Vietnam nearly 19 years now, starting from a small shophouse with just 10 sales staff and a few principal products, including Red Bull energy drink and Three Lady Cooks canned sardines.
Thai Corp International now employs more than 300 sales staff and handles |about 10 principal brands, mainly from Thailand, including Red Bull, Three Lady Cooks, Zilk, Mama, Carnation, Ichiban and Dutch Mill.
Founded in 2001, Thai Corp International has enjoyed double-digit growth in sales every year, achieving Bt1.8 billion last year alone. Two years ago Berli Jucker bought a major stake in the company.
Mongkol expects Thai Corp Inter-|national’s overall sales to be increased |significantly to Bt3 billion in the next |three years and up to Bt10 billion in the next 10 years.