Government aid said to help Thai food companies deal with floods
Services provided by Thai government agencies include the SME Ambulance, a mobile industrial clinic established by the Thailand Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP), to facilitate the smaller scale companies in such crises.
Consultants were also on hand for the SME sector to give advice on production, insurance policy, law and debt negotiation in the circumstances.
Overall, the floods recently destroyed over 2.8 m hectares of crops and affected up to 1,000 food manufacturing companies.
Traditionally, food and agriculture contributes up to 30% of the Thai economy but this figure is likely to be cut down to 10% due to the damage of the floods to the industry, said Dr Thaweesak Koanantakool, president of the National Science & Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), in Thailand
The thai durian industry, currently worth US$163m, is one that is likely to be hard hit in the long term as it takes about six years for the tree to bear fruit, said Koanantakool. “Hence there may not be enough durians for the next five years,” he added.
Jantanee Tangkoblap, general manager of P and P food and beverage manufacturer, a Thai snack food producer, said that it closed down its factories for three weeks during the floods, its sales plunged and operating costs jumped tremendously.
But Tangkoblap added that with the government assistance, the company was able to overcome such challenges.
P and P, she said, also minimized its loss by moving some of the stocks to warehouses that were protected from damage by flooding.
And Tangkoblap told this publication the company is currently scouring new locations for factories to secure production in the event of floods recurring.
Similarly, Chatchaphon Pittayathikhun of Thai organic food producer, Southeast Asia Organic, reports that the floods had minimal impact on its output, with most of its staff opting to continue working, but from home.