Thai industries federation urges stringent checks on imported produce

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) urged the government to intensify scrutiny of agricultural imports, particularly fruits and vegetables, from neighbouring nations and China, following the detection of pesticide contamination in some produce.

Kriengkrai Thiennukul, the FTI chairman. stated that Thailand continues to import fruit and vegetables contaminated by chemicals banned in many countries.

He emphasised the need for a more stringent examination of imported agricultural produce to shield consumers from potential health hazards. One potential solution, according to Kriengkrai, would be to augment the number of officials inspecting fruit and vegetable imports, thereby bolstering consumer confidence.

The FTI data revealed that in January 2024, the total value of imported fruits and vegetables witnessed an annual increase of 8.4%, reaching 13.2 billion baht (US$371). The imported produce encompassed oranges, tomatoes, kale, basil, chillies, and cauliflower.

The FTI has expressed apprehensions regarding the influence of imports on Thailand’s agricultural industry, a significant contributor to the nation’s GDP. However, the challenges with imported goods are not confined to agriculture. The federation had previously raised alarms about a surge in cheap Chinese products that posed a threat to the competitiveness of local small and medium-sized businesses.

The deluge of Chinese products into the country has impacted local manufacturers across 20 sectors, including steel, aluminium, plastics, ceramics, petrochemicals, and medicine, as per FTI’s observations. The federation pointed out that some of these products necessitate inspection as they might fall short of the required safety and environmental standards, reported Bangkok Post.

Pimphattra Wichaikul, the Industry Minister, directed the Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) to collaborate with the Customs Department to verify the quality of imported goods, particularly those under TISI’s supervision. This initiative is aimed at curtailing the influx of cheap, substandard goods. However, according to Kriengkrai Thiennukul, numerous low-quality items continue to be imported into the country.

In related news, a Commerce Ministry study advised agricultural businesses to diversify export markets and increase value-added products. It emphasised the need for collaboration and technology to support sustainable growth.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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