Thailand’s food and agricultural industries not only generate several billion baht a year in economic value, but also are an important part of the Thai way of life. Since the Thai food industry is a key contributor to the national economy and because of its wide diversity of agricultural commodities and processed food items, Thailand has earned the designation of “Kitchen of the World”. Additionally, It is a strategic hub of food production for both Asia and the rest of the world due to its biodiversity, year-round growing season, relatively low labor costs, and skilled, well-educated workforce. Around 41% of the total land area in the country is used for agriculture. As a result, more than 80% of raw materials are sourced from domestic producers at low prices.
Entrepreneurs in Thailand’s agriculture and food processing industries continue to strive to introduce innovative technologies. The Thai Government has been promoting policies which support food production at high standards of safety and quality. The aim is to expand Thai food exports to new potential markets, particularly ASEAN, China, US, India, UAE, Australia, and Russia.
Food demand in South Asia and Southeast Asia will continue to grow as populations and incomes expand throughout the regions. Thailand offers tremendous opportunities for food processors.
According to the National Food Institute, the Thai food processing industry currently comprises more than 30,000 processed-food factories with annual earnings of about US$25 billion. Major Thai and multinational industry leaders include such companies as Nestle, Saha Pathana Inter Holding, Patum Rice Mill & Granary, Royal Friesland Foods NV, Unilever Group, Thai Union, Dole Thailand, Charoen Pokphand Group, Betagro, Saha Farms, Thai Beverage, Kellogg’s, Kraft, PepsiCo, Del Monte, Procter & Gamble and Ajinomoto.
Other excellent investment prospects exist in the following areas:
- Manufacture of biological fertilizers, organic fertilizer, nano-coated organo chemical fertilizer and bio-pesticides
- Plant for animal breeding (only those that are not eligible for biotechnology activity)
- Economic forest plantation (except for Eucalyptus)
- Crop drying and silo facilities
- Animal propagation or animal husbandry
- Livestock and aquatic animal propagation
- Livestock husbandry or aquaculture (except for shrimp)
- Deep sea fishery
- Grading, packaging and storage of plants, vegetable, fruits or flowers.
- Manufacture of modified starch or starch made from plants that have special properties
- Manufacture of oil or fat from plants or animals (except for soybean oil)
- Manufacture of natural extracts or products from natural extracts (except for medicine, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and cosmetics)
- Manufacture of active ingredients from natural raw materials
- Tanneries of leather finishing
- Manufacture of natural rubber products (except rubber bands, rubber balloons and rubber rings)
- Manufacture of products from agricultural by-products or agricultural waste (except for those with uncomplicated production processes, e.g. drying, dehydration)
- Manufacture of fuel from agricultural products, including agricultural scrap or garbage or waste
- Manufacture of preservation of food, beverages, food additives or food ingredients using modern technology (except drinking water, ice cream, candy, chocolate, gum, sugar, carbonated soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, caffeinated, beverages and flour or starch made from plants, bakery products, instant noodles, essence of chicken and bird’s nest)
- Manufacture of medical food or food supplements
- Cold storage, or cold storage and cold storage transportation
- Trading Centre for agricultural goods