Carrefour to Buy Direct From Thai Shrimp Farms


Linda Salim, for SeafoodSource from Surabaya, Indonesia

Published on
October 7, 2008

French supermarket giant Carrefour is moving toward purchasing shrimp direct from farms in Thailand. The local Carrefour's purchasing department placed its first order of a few metric tons of fresh and frozen shrimp from Kaset Somboon Farm a few months ago to stock local outlets, according to owner Vanich Sowanapreecha.

Kaset Somboon Farm owns more than 20 shrimp ponds in Chachoengsao and Suphan Buri provinces.

Carrefour is forming an inspection team to tour Kaset Somboon ponds and processing plants, with the first inspection scheduled in January.

Carrefour could purchase up to 10,000 metric tons annually, and if the inspection goes well Kaset Somboon may ally with other farms to fulfill the order.

Sowanapreecha added that large grocery chains and food outlets prefer to buy direct from farms to keep the product as fresh as possible, to negotiate a better price and to be able to monitor quality controls.

Sureerath Farm in Chanthaburi, another Thai shrimper, also supplies to local grocery chains Siam Paragon, Tops Supermarkets and Villa Supermarkets.

Direct selling to customers is being promoted as the current strategic plan for Thailand's shrimp industry. To promote direct orders, the Fisheries Department has negotiated with export markets to speed up entry procedures, including a bilateral agreement with South Korean fisheries authority to simplify paperwork.

Kaset Somboon and other Thai shrimp farms also produce 30 to 40 metric tons of fresh shrimp a day, for chains in Seoul and Busan. To guarantee freshness, Thai shrimp are shipped to South Korea on red-eye Thai Airways flights, reaching markets in the morning, according to Sowanapreecha.

Other potential markets in this niche are China, Japan, Israel and Middle Eastern countries.

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