SIP Tea Talk 4 – Lesson learned from NRF delicious food with low carbon
Mr. Dan Pathomvanich, CEO of NR Instant Produce Public Company Limited
NR Instant Produce Public Company Limited is a company that focuses on global warming because we are aware that we need to tackle the issue from today. Companies that are not aware of the issue will be disadvantaged; meanwhile, low-carbon products will enhance advantage of exports to EU. For sustainable product certification, greenhouse gas emission is the first thing that stakeholders will consider. They will feel more secured, if there is Made in Thailand label. Our competitor is Made in Australia which has high standards of organic products.
Products must be good and eco-friendly. If any company cannot make it, competitiveness will be lower. The needed feature is value added to products. Transformation of normal producers to become eco-friendly producers is interesting issue. First step is installing solar panel which after using carbon trade, refund amount is around 10,000 Baht from electricity fee of over hundred thousand Baht.
Besides eco-friendly feature, branding, SME and startups, if entrepreneurs have good ideas, they will be able to sell products to unique markets. For example, the branding that focuses on GI, Japan has done for 100 years and made it to be The Best which Fair-Trade label is shown to their target groups. It needs to start with products first before branding.
Another important strategy is improving production process to be qualified for certificate of CO2 emission reduction. For example, cow farming that methane emission is really high, so rancher feeds cows with red seaweeds to reduce methane emission from cows. Then, producers apply for certification of products. Nowadays, even carbon credit market is small, but CO2 emission must be zero by 2040. If we do not achieve that, there will be punishment in the future. More indicators will be prescribed in 2025 and 2030 which will lead to punishment for the emission in 2050.
In this session, there is a small entrepreneur that operates pork processing company. Since the owner is a nurse, she places importance on food safety. She is trying to achieve ZeroWaste by using BSL method to remove protein, instead of anaerobic system.
Another entrepreneur produces curry paste products. There are questions about packages that match foreigners’ needs. Thai food is ranked in Top 5 of the world, but the market is not big. Foreigners wish to buy curry paste products that the taste is still the same when they are home. The entrepreneur should start with popular curry paste. Then, the products should be organic because there are not many big entrepreneurs produce organic products. Product stories are also needed such as food made by curry paste or promoting tourism. Most importantly, distributor is a must.
For a food manufacturing company that has international customers and targets carbon neutral for global warming solution, we focus on a source that have low carbon emission which will reach zero in the future. Therefore, it is really important to consider every source and the company has to encourage farmers to reduce cardon emission as well such as we will be more interested and offer a better price to farmers who have proof of carbon emission reduction.
In terms of the government’s support for environmental issue, the Minister of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has passion about environment. In terms of international level, ratification was made to jointly reduce methane emission. However, Thailand is one of a few countries that did not make such ratification because rice farming caused methane emission of 2.5% of the world. Moreover, the government’s policy is still unclear about incentive to boost economy.
Low-carbon foods such as plant-based foods are not limited to only vegetarian foods. The texture is different because of different form of fats. This is value added to the products that change customers’ behavior. For products from insects such as crickets, the market views that it should be a source of protein in animal foods. In the past, trash fish was materials of animal foods. The mission is how to make it good and have reasonable price.
Lastly, transformation involves upstream, midstream and downstream to reduce greenhouse gas emission; meanwhile, carbon stock from planting trees should be conducted simultaneously. Gas emission is around 300 million tons per year per which consumers are a key factor to reduce it, besides leaving the issue to companies such as stop selling gasoline cars by 2035. Consumers should learn and take actions from today. Schools are responsible to educate students to be equipped with knowledge and capable to drive the transformation.
Upstream operations have culture waste such as sugarcane bagasse and corn cob from fire. Half of people who made the fire knew problems, but not solutions; while, the other half were no longer being concerned about it. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives must have clear information about fire location and details as to find solutions to stop fire by hiring farmers, selling materials, or etc. Moreover, it should communicate to the public about impacts as to make them accept that they need to change behaviors. Australia policy is a good example which it has a master plan of organic production (50% of products in Australia are organic). Consumers must be able to trace back products’ origin and producers. This is a process to build confidence and verify safe production.