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Thai pork exporter discovers Polish market

One of Thailand's leading food processors, S. Khonkaen Food Industry (SKFI), is planning to establish a factory in Poland to produce Thai-style sausages and shredded pork products.

The company announced this move in an attempt to expand sales in the European Union (EU) to meet the increasingly stringent EU food standards, according to CEO Charoen Rujiirasopon, who added the company was ready to invest 50 million baht (just over €1 million) if sales in the region are sufficient to support the project.

Range of products
In an interview, Rujiirasopon said: "Last year, SKFI reached an agreement with Poland's leading food processor Paruzel to produce a range of its products for distribution within the EU and for export. The products would be manufactured by Paruzel but the technology, quality inspection and marketing would be controlled by a SKFI team from Thailand."

He continued, "Initial production will be 50 tonnes/month and divided between two brands, S. Khonkaen products foresale via supermarkets and Winner products for sale to restaurants, both ranges at about 15% cheaper than for similar premium European produced brands. SKFI expects sales of about 3.5 million baht (€70,000) over the first two years."

Foot-and-Mouth Disease
"SKIF has been in the EU for more than ten years, initially exporting fish balls and snacks under the Tae Jiew brand to Asian supermarks run by Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai immigrants, but concern about Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) barred it from exporting meat-related products to the EU," Rujiirasopon added.

"The company expects to generate domestic revenues this year of at least one billion baht, up 10% from a year earlier. The higher cost of living has prompted consumers to cook at home rather than eat out."

De Care
In a related development, the Thai Trade Center in Warsaw has signed an agreement with De Care, a major Polish importer of Asian foods to procure more Thai products, according to De Care owner Maciek Szata, who said Poland was a high-potential market for Thai foods.

The company mainly imports snacks, fish sauce, herbs, rice and ginger. Figures from the Trade Centre state that Thailand's exports to Poland were worth US$413 million, up nearly 80% from a year earlier, while Poland's exports to Thailand were worth nearly US$70 million.

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