Ministry denies selling Thai-Danish to foreign company
The Agriculture Ministry on Friday refuted rumours that it was selling the “Thai-Danish” milk brand to a foreign company to produce and sell powdered milk. The brand has been well known in Thailand for 51 years.
The rumour, reported by some media outlets, has stirred up a controversy. Such a deal is seen as going against the objective of the Dairy Farming Promotion Organisation (DPO), a state enterprise under the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, which was established to supervise the production of Thai-Danish milk for the benefit of Thai farmers.
“We are not selling the brand. We will only allow the company to use the ‘Thai-Danish’ trademark for its powdered milk for infants,” Deputy Agriculture Minister Mananya Thaiset said on Friday.
Under the deal with an Austrian company, the firm must share profits of at least 30 million baht per year from sale of milk, as well as permit technology transfer in producing powdered milk for infants aged six months to one year to the DPO, starting from cow raising techniques to personnel development.
“Currently, there is no factory in Thailand having the technology to produce such a product,” she pointed out.
Mananya added that the deal has yet to be finalised and is still being studied by the Office of the Attorney-General to make sure that it will not affect Thai farmers.
DPO director Somphon Srimuang added that the estimated cost of setting up a factory and purchasing technology to produce powdered milk for infants was over 2.4 billion baht.
“Furthermore, the production needs to be supervised by foreign experts and requires a scientific laboratory. Without the deal, the Thai-Danish brand would have a hard time competing against other foreign brands, which are dominating the market for powdered milk for infants in Thailand,” he said.