Officials keen to highlight organic items

The government is beefing up efforts to promote organic farm products in a bid to capitalise on consumers’ rising health and environmental consciousness.

Thai officials have put organic farming development on the national agenda and approved key strategies, deputy commerce permanent secretary VuthichaiDuangratana said.

The strategies call for knowledge and understanding development, database development, market expansion in the domestic market and in exports, and diverse product promotion.

The government also pledges to support incentives for organic farmers and traders.
The Commerce Ministry is committed to promoting closer cooperation between state agencies and the private sector and encouraging consumer awareness about the health benefits of organic farm products, MrVuthichai said. He hailed the growth potential of Thai organic products such as fresh fruits and vegetables and non-food products such as cosmetics and spa treatments.
Thailand’s product champions for export include organic rice, vegetables, fruits and herbs.

The country’s organic product shipments have experienced strong growth, averaging 10% a year, with exports valued at 3.1 billion baht last year.
Growth is expected at 10% again this year.

Domestic sales for organic products, meanwhile, are estimated at 4 billion baht.
According to the latest “World of Organic Agriculture” report from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, global sales of organic food and drinks reached US$72 billion in 2013.

Revenue has increased almost five-fold since 1999.
Europe and North America generate more than 90% of global sales. At the same time, Asia, Australasia, South America and Africa have become important producers of organic crops, although their markets fororganic products remain small.
The US is the largest single market for organic trading, controlling 43% of global value, followed by the EU (40%), China (4%), Canada (4%), Switzerland (3%), Japan (2%) and other markets (4%).

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