Thaifex Anuga Asia: facilitating market access for Thai SMEs

15 June 2023
ITC News

It was the first time my company was exhibiting at a trade fair and it has been a great experience as we made a lot of contacts with potential buyers from the European Union (EU) and other international markets. I am also delighted by the support I received under Arise Plus Thailand on trade fair preparation and on complying with the new EU organic regulation. I felt very well prepared for interactions with buyers, with a good understanding of their needs and expectations during the fair. As for the EU regulation, I can now better support farmer groups part of my network to ensure we can buy certified” says Kanittha Treerattanaphon, Managing Director, Kingdom Organic Network Thailand.

The company, along with 20 other enterprises, participated in the Thaifex Anuga Asia trade fair 23-27 May in Bangkok, Thailand with support from the EU-funded ARISE Plus Thailand project implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC).

Thaifex is one of the leading fairs in the region which connects food and beverages, food service technology, retail and franchise operators with buyers and other relevant stakeholders.

The fair provides Thai and other small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with market exposure and networking opportunities.

In 2023, Thaifex counted 131,000 visitors and 2,000 exhibitors from over 120 countries.

21 Thai organic companies, ranging from rice, fruits and vegetables to coconut products were able to foster their market access to the EU with support from the project.

The participation will also be instrumental in enhancing market access and strengthening capacities of Thai organic SMEs.

On the side-line of participation in Thaifex, ARISE Plus Thailand also organized three events during the fair.

Training on Trade Fair Preparation was held on 22 May, which focused on international market requirements for exporting fresh and processed agrifood products, leading market trends, key points to master B2B interactions and last-minute tips to prepare for the trade fair.

Hybrid workshop on technologies used to enhance traceability along the organic agricultural value chain with speakers from the European Commission, the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) and technology providers from the ASEAN region and Switzerland took place on May 25.

The third side event highlighted the new EU organic regulation 2018/848 between EU importers, farmers, processors and other relevant stakeholders. This hybrid workshop included presentations from representatives of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and organic companies as well as panel discussions on challenges and opportunities for Thai organic operators.

In the workshop on traceability along the organic agricultural value chain we learned about technologies that make our work easier to track back to the farmers. This was very helpful and we will definitely apply what we have learned today.” Tanchanok Sakornpantarak, Operation Manager, Jasberry, Co, Ltd.

The ARISE Plus Thailand project, implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and funded by the European Union (EU), aims to support inclusive and sustainable economic growth through international trade in Thailand. It supports greater connectivity and economic integration between Thailand and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region in line with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025.

Under this overall objective, ITC supports the enhancement and dissemination of organic agricultural practices in line with EU standards.