Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (CP Foods) is optimistic about the future of Thai shrimp as the demand for safe and sustainable shrimp products set to soar with more and more consumers cooking at home.
One long term trend will be continued increase in shrimp sold at retail instead of service sector. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are eating out less, and buying shrimp for cooking at home more. The accelerating shift towards retailing will likely to benefit those countries that are good at making retail product such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.
Dr. Sujint Thammasart, D.V.M., Chief Operating Officer – Aquaculture Business of CP Foods, explained that consumers want than just a safe and hygienic food. They demand value added foods, an innovative and sustainable one.
To meet these new demands, CP Foods, which is fully integrated shrimp producer, has taken into account the production of safe and sustainable shrimp production. Starting from site selection that must not be located in the mangrove forest area in line with Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) criteria.
At farm, all shrimp feed used in the company’s operation are made of fishmeal that are MarinTrust standard certified. Water are treated with Biofloc Technology, filling in microorganism to treat diseases and residue in the pond. It also becomes additional high nutritious feed source for shrimp, allowing the shrimp to be totally antibiotic-free. Also, the farm operates a closed-loop system that does not discharge farming water to the natural water source.
“Our aquaculture operation is working on a sustainable project aimed at reducing impact of the company’s operation on the environment by targeting zero water discharge.” he said.
Dr. Sujint added that the company has been collaborating with multiple partners in Thailand and internationally like Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS), Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST), Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) and the Thai Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable (TSFR) to build responsible seafood supply chain in Thailand and across the globe.
Besides responsible shrimp farming, CP Foods has initiated mangrove reforestation project, covering the area of 2,388 Rai in Songkhla, Phang Nga, Chumphon, Rayong, and Samut Sakhon provinces. The second phase (2019 – 2023) has set a goal to preserve 14,000 rai more of mangrove in Samut Sakhon province, this project helps create jobs and income for the surrounding community from inshore fisheries, and eco-tourism, making a deep bond between human and nature.
Mr. Robins McIntosh, the executive Vice President at CP Foods, added that COVID-19 outbreak has made an unprecedented disruption in global food supply chain. Moreover, the pandemic also accelerates a shifting towards more domestic production and less dependence on import goods. This could lead to increasing trade barriers in the near future.
To lower this risk, CP Foods has invested on Homegrown shrimp, a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) shrimp farm in Florida. Subsequently, CP Foods is joining hands to produce a “Made in USA” shrimp as well as to export.
Homegrown shrimp will deliver high quality fresh shrimp products to US consumers, differentiating itself from other frozen shrimp products that are mostly from Asia and Central America.
Additionally, trends that were in place before the outbreak, for example, sustainable farming, and the intensification of production with more controls and automation to reduce labour requirements, will continue.