Vol. IV No. 34 - Saturday August 20 - August 26, 2005
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BUSINESS 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai governor’s daughter opens three Craft & Coffee shops

‘Taste of Thailand’ event highlights export success

Chiang Mai governor’s daughter opens three Craft & Coffee shops

Nopniwat Krailerg

Yaowapa Wongsawat, consultant to the PM, came to Chiang Mai to preside over the opening ceremony of businesses under the Craft & Coffee brand at Chiang Mai Land Village. There are three companies debuting at the same time, Le Nord Co., Benja Collection Co. and Coffee Beanery Co. These companies are managed by On-usa Tantipat, daughter of the Chiang Mai governor.

Yaowapa Wongsawat, Dato Abrani Ibrahim, Malaysian ambassador to Thailand, MP Boonsong Teriyaporn, Governor Suwat Tantipat and his wife, and Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn at the grand opening.

Guests such as Dato Abrani Ibrahim, Malaysian ambassador to Thailand; MP Boonsong Teriyaporn, Governor Suwat Tantipat and Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn were all present at the opening.

Le Nord Company designs handicraft products and household decorative supplies made from natural materials such as mango tree and other strong wood and ceramics. It is to encourage local craftsmen to produce OTOP products.

Benja Collection Company is to distribute Oriental and Contemporary furniture and Coffee Beanery Company is a franchise of Zolito coffee that sells roast coffee and coffee grinding machines.


‘Taste of Thailand’ event highlights export success

The “Taste of Thailand” event which is currently underway at five of Tesco’s biggest stores around London was a clear indication of the company’s commitment to promote Thai products, Tesco Lotus chairman, Sunthorn Arunanondchai said last week.

Tesco UK, the parent company of Tesco Lotus, is holding the event to showcase a selection of Thai products in its Beckton, Lea Valley, Yeading, Hayes and Brent Park stores. Sunthorn, who traveled to the UK last month to inspect the stores where the promotion is taking place, said the promotion is intended to raise awareness of Thai food and products and stimulate sales.

The promotion is the latest initiative in a continuing drive to support Thai products which had seen the value of Thai products purchased by Tesco increase to 5.7 billion baht this year. Support for Thai products took a major step forward in September 2003 when the then deputy prime minister, Somkid Jatusripitak, met the chief executive of Tesco PLC, Sir Terry Leahy, as part of his international promotion of Thai exports.

Since their meeting, sales of Thai products to Tesco have increased more than 35% to their current level. Vegetable producers have already seen the opportunity with exports of seven different types of corn exceeding 1,500 tonnes and representing around 500 million baht in the last year. While development of fruit production has been less rapid, the opportunity for future growth is emerging as Tesco buyers are currently working on the development of sources for a range of fruit including dragon fruit, rambutan, longan, mangosteen and green coconut.

Tesco’s effort to promote and purchase Thai products has had a dual benefit, said Sunthorn. “Not only has there been a substantial lift in exports to the UK as British customers become more aware of the quality of Thai products, but the assistance the company has given Thai producers to understand and achieve international standards has also been vital.

“There are still challenges, but the reward for Thai producers who can meet the necessary international standards and deliver value is access to the largest retailer in the UK. It is a great opportunity for Thai producers.”

The ‘Taste of Thailand’ promotion includes popular products such as curry sauce, satay, fish sauce, wonton, noodles, bamboo shoots, coconut milk and rice. Famous Thai fruits such as rambutan, mangosteen, custard apple, mango, and dragon fruit are also featured in the promotion alongside tasty Thai vegetables including yard long beans, bitter gourd, galangal, ginger, flowering chives, turmeric, chilies and fresh lemongrass.



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