Pic: Advisor of Minister of Agriculture and Cooperative, Mr. Alongkorn Ponlaboot, visited the Fairtrade-NAPP booth on 25 May 2022. The advisor showed interest and discussed on Fairtrade work in Thailand with delegates from Sisaket Fairtrade Farmer Group and FTS Organic and Fairtrade Producers Amnatcharoen.
Small producer organizations from Thailand and Laos produce a variety of agricultural products (both fresh and processed namely rice, coffee, fresh fruits, herb and spices, coconut and cane sugar) that are exported worldwide to consumers who are aware of the wellbeing of farmers and workers in the countries of origin. However, the export demand of Fairtrade market is still small in comparison to the production capacity of Thai producers.
In Thailand, there are many buyers and traders who are looking into new markets and product possibilities for both domestic and international markets but they have limited knowledge of the Fairtrade products in Asia. Recognizing the potential for South to South Trade, Thai producer organizations have assessed the need to create more awareness of Fairtrade and to promote the locally available Fairtrade products in Thailand and across Asia. This would help the producers to expand their market and promote sustainable agriculture in the long term.
To improve business viability for the producers and to explore the potential for Fairtrade market linkages in the Asian countries, Fairtrade NAPP with the co-funding support of Fairtrade Germany and the European Union exhibited at the THAIFEX-Anuga 2022 from 24th – 28th May 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The event served as a good opportunity to promote the local Fairtrade-certified products to potential buyers and traders and to educate and create awareness of a fairer trading condition that can be adopted in the modern trade. The exhibition booth showcased information about the overall Fairtrade system and educational videos on Fairtrade premium projects were played on TV at the booth. The producers showed a great collaboration by sending samples to be displayed at the booth. 12 delegates from 6 SPOs attended the meetings at the trade show.
There were visitors from both domestic and international sectors that included traders, retailers, producer companies, developing organisations, exhibitors, and government bodies. The majority of them enquired about business networking opportunities, product sourcing, learning more about the Fairtrade system, and obtaining the Fairtrade certification. Traders who had the potential to explore the Fairtrade market collected information on available Fairtrade products, contacts of producer organisations and certification details. The key Fairtrade products of interest were rice, cacao for chocolate, herbs, and spices.
An exhibitor survey was also conducted by NAPP to explore the market interest for sustainable production and consumption. A Google form survey was used to collect information from 99 exhibitors and 118 consumers. 94% recognized Fairtrade certification and over 97% agreed that Fair practices are important in the business sector. As for consumers out of 118 surveys, only 46% had heard about Fairtrade and over 83% confirmed that ethical and sustainable trade is important and they are willing to pay an additional premium for purchasing it.
Through the exposure received at the Trade Fair, the Thai producer organisations have gained knowledge on the expectations of the current market demand and requirements and the importance of branding and marketing at renowned Trade Fairs. Through business meetings, they have also developed their business networks.