DITP tightens safety standards for Thai frozen food export
Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) has tightened its measures for Thai frozen food exporters by launching Thailand Delivers with Safety campaign to boost confidence among global consumers in COVID-19-free safety food product from Thailand.
DITP also joins forces with partner organizations in implementing COVID-19 Prevention Measures in food production, which the exporters promptly and responsively comply with to enhance consumers' safety, as well as boosting the confidence for global trade partners. As for the market outlook, Thai frozen food market is expected to grow this year, demonstrating Thailand's potential as the major food manufacturer with advanced manufacturing technology that meets international standards.
Somdet Susomboon, Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) revealed that the market outlook for Thai frozen food in 2021 is expected to grow continuously, targeting to reach 140,256.75 million baht in export value, accounting 2% expansion, despite the fact that Thailand has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which results in the slowdown of the purchase orders and delivery of Thai products overseas.
DITP has collaborated with Thailand's public and private sector in elevating the manufacturing procedure by issuing COVID-19 Prevention Measures in food production for export, to enable manufacturers, exporters, business operators, fruit and vegetable suppliers, as well as logistics operators to strictly follow the standard guidelines. The goal is to enhance safety for consumers and strengthen confidence among global trade partners.
For this safety measures, business operators and suppliers in ingredient shipping from ships and piers must intensify their effort to reduce the risk of contamination from ingredients and containers. Manufacturers must implement strict quality and safety controls throughout the production line, from receiving ingredients from ships and piers, storing in chilled room, processing, and packing in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). Besides, they shall maintain preventive measures for transporting goods by cleaning and disinfecting the interior of the vehicle containers as well as the personal hygiene of employees. To monitor personal hygiene, work environment as well as location and manufacturing building, manufacturers shall prioritize sanitation and strictly clean and disinfect the machinery, manufacturing buildings, floors, walls, as well as common areas which are prone to contact in appropriate frequency. As for personal hygiene of workers, workers must be trained to protect themselves from COVID-19 to properly prevent any contaminations during operation.
These measures will go hand in hand with the strategy for frozen food export, including identifying new sources of ingredients, setting up internationally accepted standards, as well as focusing more on making an agreement with neighboring countries in providing labor through the clear guidelines for migrant worker management while effectively establishing the labor management best practices.
Meanwhile, the private sector related to Thai Frozen Foods Association has responded positively to this and is ready to implement strict measures. The cooperation among members of the Association has been reached to strictly adhere to these preventive measures from COVID-19, ensuring the confidence among consumers.
Although many countries around the world are facing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand still retains its potential as the world's major food producer with advanced manufacturing technology for products that best cater to different market demands and meet international quality standards. DITP has launched "Thailand Delivers with Safety" campaign along with the preventive measures for Thai manufacturers, exporters, business operators, frozen food suppliers and logistics operators to follow the same standards. This is to enhance confidence among buyers and trade partners around the world, highlighting the strong potential and finest quality of Thai products in every procedure from sourcing ingredients, harvesting, transporting, manufacturing with high level of personal safety, packaging to delivering at the consumers' doorsteps," Mr. Somdet affirmed.
As for the market overview of the frozen food export in January 2021, Thailand exported fresh, chilled, frozen, canned and processed seafood (including canned and processed tuna, excluding fresh, chilled, frozen and processed shrimp) totaling 9,480.46 million baht, a 1.59 percent drop from the same period last year. The major export products under this category were canned tuna, amounting to 4,557.11 million baht, or 1.07 percent decrease. The total seafood export volume was 78,056 tons, divided into 18,217 tons of fresh, chilled and frozen seafood, or 16.48 percent decrease, 9,453 tons of processed seafood, 19.25 percent increase and 50,386 tons of canned seafood or 1.85 percent increase, the majority of which are canned tuna with 38,990 tons in volume, an increase of 0.48 percent compared to the same period last year.
The largest importer countries of frozen food from Thailand were the United States, Japan, Australia, Egypt and Canada, accounting for 57.37%. In addition, the markets with a high growth rate were Argentina which grew up to 194.18 percent, followed by Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Israel and Taiwan with the growth rate of 80.90%, 45.13%, 42.11% and 40.56%, respectively. Thai frozen food products with the highest export value in 2020 are: 1. Canned tuna 2. Processed fish (tuna + other fish) 3. Canned shrimp 4. Other canned seafood 5. Live, chilled and frozen squid.