Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) is expanding its business focus on brand building and packaging development, with the aim of becoming the biggest food producer in the region.
The company is also mapping out plans to set up its own distribution centre and logistics system, designed to support its expansion as well as meeting demand from rapidly growing regional trade.
In addition, CPF has expanded not only into neighbouring countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma, Malaysia and Indonesia, but also into other potential Asian markets like India, Turkey and Russia.
CPF has invested Bt500 million to set up an animal feed meal and pork products plant in Russia, which is expected to begin operations late next year. It is also planning to expand its animal feed meal and aquaculture businesses in the Philippines.
Adirek said the food industry had reached a turning point because grains like maize are being diverted for use in ethanol manufacturing. Demand for maize to support the ethanol industry in the United States has increased from 10% last year to 20% this year, and major maize importers such as Japan and Vietnam are facing price increases from Bt6 per kilogram last year to Bt8 this year. In Thailand, maize prices are expected to rise by 15% this year to Bt6.50 per kilo. “It is forecast that the cost of producing meat will increase because the feed meal industry will face a shortage of grain and this will prompt tougher competition on the world market,” he said.