Tops, food retail business under Central Retail, is moving forward with the goal of driving business growth while also increasing income for Thai farmers in order to improve their quality of life. It is working with the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Intellectual Property to expand the market for GI products by sourcing the best and most authentic items from their origins and delivering them to consumers through modern retail channels.
The supermarket chain recently paid a visit to the Kohthuad Subdistrict Municipality Community Enterprise in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province to sign a forward purchase contract for more than 100 tons of Tubtim Siam Pak Phanang pomelo (approximately 70,000 pomelos) directly from farmer members of the community enterprise. As part of the forward buying, these pomelos are set for harvest in 2023.The direct purchase scheme, which is defined as an income guarantee, offers a price 40 percent higher than the normal pomelo market price, generating a stable income of more than 20 million baht for over 700 households of pomelo growers in Pak Phanang District. When the pomelos are ready, they will be available at Tops, Tops Food Hall, Tops Fine Food, and Jingjai Farmers’ Market locations nationwide, as well as Tops online.
Mr. Piriya Kamoldechdecha, Head of Fresh Food of Central Food Retail under Central Retail, said, “Tops, as the number one food retail business, is very active in delivering the best experience every day in accordance with the Every Day DISCOVERY concept. We intend to grow our business in tandem with the creation of a livable society, the reduction of inequality, and the equitable improvement of people’s quality of life. One of our primary missions is to assist Thai farmers in all regions of the country in becoming self-sufficient and having a steady source of income. Tops intends to fully support farmers and entrepreneurs of Thai GI products in order for them to be widely known both domestically and internationally. To date, we have already purchased GI fruits as well as many other GI products from all over the country, 45 provinces, and more than 60 SKUs for sale at our retail network this year.”
By working closely with the Department of Intellectual Property, Tops visited the Kohthuad Subdistrict Municipality Community Enterprise in Pak Phanang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, and successfully signed a forward buying contract for more than 100 tons of the Tubtim Siam Pak Phanang pomelo. Aside from an increase in the agreed price that is 40% above the usual market price, the volume is also 30% higher than previous orders. As a result, farmers no longer have to worry about their output not finding a market or experiencing a dramatic price drop. Forward purchasing of this GI product, in addition to ensuring farmers’ income, drives the economy of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province to grow sustainably. Furthermore, customers can be confident that they are purchasing genuine Tubtim Siam pomelo, a GI product from a reputable producer.”
Mr. Boonruay Kongkoatud, Kohthuad Subdistrict Municipality Community Enterprise Nakhon Si Thammarat, pointed out that the Community Enterprise originated from the gathering of hundreds of farmers in the area in order to strengthen the community. It has been supported by Tops since 1995, the year it was founded. Since then, Tops has been sending employees to purchase products directly from farmers and offer prices that are acceptable to them. Receiving a higher price than the market price allows the member farmers to earn up to 26-28 million baht per year, enabling them to make a living and be self-sufficient. Tops also offers distribution advice and assists with packaging design to make the products more appealing. To increase the value of a pomelo, for example, it is recommended to use naturally dyed water hyacinth weaved into a net packaging. Farmers are also encouraged to grow local vegetables for sale while waiting for the pomelo harvest, ensuring that community members have a consistent source of income. The flesh of the grapefruit is dark ruby pink to red, which distinguishes Tubtim Siam Pak Phanang pomelo. When touched, the skin has small hairs that cover it, making it appear soft and velvety. It also has very thin skin as well as a sweet, fragrant, and soft flavor with no bitter aftertaste. Because of its distinct flavor, and it grows best in the Pak Phanang District of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, it has been designated as a GI product.
“In addition to purchasing products directly from farmers across the country, Tops dedicates a retail space for farmers to bring vegetables, fruits, and other well-known processed products from their provinces to sell at Jingjai Farmers’ Market, an unconventional retail market. The Market currently has 33 locations in 29 provinces across the country. It serves as a community economic driver, providing employment for 9,696 farmer households and generating more than 250 million baht per year. In the end, it allows farmers to earn three times more income per household. The success is the result of a collaborative effort by the business sector and local communities concerned with community welfare and the environment,” said Mr. Piriya.
Consumers are encouraged to support high-quality GI products produced by Thai farmers across the country. Tops, Tops Food Hall, Tops Fine Food, and Jingjai Farmers’ Market now offer products delivered directly from the best and most reliable origin. Personal Shopper Service is also available online; simply add LINE @TopsThailand to your contacts list.
For more details, visit Facebook TopsThailand, the Jingjai Farmers’ Market, or LINE @TopsThailand.
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