(Source: Thailand Investment Review, May 2018)
Cargill’s international presence
With bases of operation in 70 countries and over 155,000 employees, Cargill provides food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services around the world. Deeply principled in working together with farmers, customers, governments and local communities, Cargill is dedicated to helping people thrive by sharing the insights it has gained in more than 153 years of operations.
Through its philosophy of “Helping the World Thrive”, Cargill is fully committed to being a good global citizen, ensuring food security around the world, reducing environmental impacts and improving the livelihood of the communities in which the company operates. In order to achieve those goals, Cargill invests continuously in new products and more efficient means of conducting its business. The following are just a few examples of the steps taken to achieve these objectives:
- Investment in animal and aquatic feeds that can produce more protein in a cost-effective manner while lowering the environmental footprint
- Investments in new and healthier food ingredients, which include zero or low-calorie sweeteners, healthier vegetable oils and plant-based meat alternatives
- Investment in logistical operations, such as fuel-efficient boats, cold-storage supply chains, food storage facilities, and ports, so that the company’s food and agricultural products can be moved with increased efficiency and safety
- Expansion of the company’s capabilities to utilize agricultural products for industrial applications
- Development of new innovations and apps to work with the farmer to help them be more efficient, reduce costs and increase food safety
While the company’s presence is genuinely global, its key focus, however, is to supply nutritious, safe and sustainable food to the Asian market. Recognizing that the Asian continent is home to over half of the world’s population but only around a quarter of the world’s arable land, Cargill has established a key corporate strategy of developing supply chains to provide sufficient food and nutrition to meet the demands of the Asian market.
Cargill’s presence in Thailand
Cargill’s story in Thailand began in 1968 with the opening of a trading office in Bangkok. Since then, the company has expanded continuously into new areas of business, accumulating a total investment of 1 billion USD. Currently, the company operates at 14 locations in Thailand. Employing over 17,000 people, Cargill’s Thai operations comprise the origination, sourcing, processing, handling, distribution, and marketing of a wide range of products, including agricultural commodities, animal feed, cooked poultry, food, as well as food and beverage ingredients. In particular, Cargill is extremely proud of its cooked poultry business in Thailand, which is now operating from a state-of-the-art processing plant in Nakhon Ratchasima and Saraburi Province.
Food market in South-East Asia
Cargill identifies demographics and economic potential as the basic indicators for market growth. Southeast Asia offers considerable promise in both of these areas. Markets such as Vietnam and the Philippines, for example, have populations in the region of 100 million. Across the region, large groups of consumers offer huge demand for a variety of products offered by Cargill, both directly and indirectly. These large markets, Thailand included, offer Cargill some of our best strategic opportunities in the world.
As ASEAN’s second-largest economy, the importance of the food and agriculture sector in Thailand cannot be overstated. Among Thailand’s key strengths are the abundant natural resources from which 80 percent of all ingredients used in its thriving food industry are sourced locally.
Cargill values Thailand’s welcoming investment policies which enable both domestic and foreign investors to act on their strategies. The Thai government provides a healthy environment that allows businesses to grow and thrive. On top of this, incentives granted by the Thailand Board of Investment are generous and helpful for our business expansion. The country’s geographical location is also of strategic importance with its close proximity to major consumer markets such as Japan. The combination of these market and institutional factors has enabled Thailand to become the only net exporter of food in Asia and allows for production at a highly competitive price in a global perspective. One of the country’s most prominent success stories in this respect is poultry, with Thailand’s cost level among the lowest in the world, enabling its poultry products to be shipped all over the world.
With half a century’s experience of doing business in Thailand, Cargill knows exactly what Thailand has to offer companies looking to invest in or enter the Thai market. In addition to the factors already mentioned, Thailand remains an attractive market for Cargill due to the friendliness of the locals towards foreigners, Thailand’s increasingly skilled and dependable workforce and the generous investment incentives on offer.
Cargill’s growth strategy in Thailand
Cargill believes that, as the worldwide demand for more, better, healthier and sustainable food increases, Thailand will continue to play a key role in the global food supply chain. Given its natural resources, people, physical location and logistical capability, Thailand provides excellent opportunities for both a source and a production center for food and agricultural products. By utilizing its expertise in food and agriculture, Cargill’s strategy is to re-invest in Thailand and expand its current portfolio. This includes investment in new facilities, technology, and equipment upgrades and talent development, as well as a focus on improving food safety and quality standards across the entire value chain. The company is committed to providing food security to the world while minimizing environmental impact by protecting natural resources and nourishing local communities.