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CPF intensifies efforts to go global

THAILAND - Agriculture conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) is making more of an effort to become a global food processing company, the main object of focus being the "farm-to-table" strategy.

CPF already has R&D centres at some of its animal feed, animal and food-processing plants. An average of Bt2 billion (app. €47 million) a year on R&D - about 2% of sales revenue - is spent annually.

Last year, the company spent millions on its Klang, Rayong, shrimp R&D centre. Employing 30 people, the modern facility is the only one in the Southeastern region of Asia to dedicate itself to shrimp.

The Thai Government is also extending its support. Recently, at a meeting with the company, Industry Minister Kosit Panpiemras said that R&D would come up with novel and innovative products to boost national growth on an economic front. According to Kosit, CPF is eligible for Board of Investment tax incentives.

In addition, CPF plans to expand R&D at its Saraburi plant, wherein emphasis will be laid on food (particularly chicken) and the plant at Min Buri will focus on ready-to-eat meals. Pigs are also being cross-bred for the development of a leaner breed.

The Saraburi research centre has a staff of 50 members, which include nutritionists, chefs and packaging developers. Annually, the team comes up with about a hundred innovations, and out of these, about eight make it to the supermarket shelves.

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