Thailand Launches Organic Certification Office


Linda Salim, for SeafoodSource from Surabaya, Indonesia

Published on
March 27, 2008

Thailand's Department of Fisheries launched an Organic Agricultural and Farm Products Certification Office on Wednesday. Using the guidelines of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, the Certification Office will be granting organic-certified status to agriculture and farming product exporters.

During the launch, Somying Piumsomboon, director general of Thailand's fisheries department, explained that the department worked with Germany's Agency for Technical Co-operation (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH) to give organic certification to Thai shrimp farms.

Five shrimp farms have participated in the certification program: Chantaburi's Eastern Organic Prawn Alliance, Kungkrabaen Bay Royal Development Study Center, Samut Prakan's Laemfapha Shrimp Aquaculture Community Enterprise Group, Black Tiger Trang Group Farm in Trang and Dumrong Farm in Songkhla.

Thailand is the world's No. 1 shrimp exporter with this year's target of 340,000 metric tons. The country's organic shrimp production, however, hasn't kept pace with the global organic trend of 10 percent to 20 percent annually.

The president of Sureerath Farm, Prayoon Hongrat, the first organic-certified shrimp farmer, hopes the Certification Office will endorse the growth of Thai organic shrimp. Next year, Sureerath Farm is projected to export 100 tons of organic shrimp.

Hongrat expects the Thai farms participating in organic certification to produce 500 tons of organicblack tiger shrimp within five years.

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