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Coffee in Thailand

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Economics
BEVERAGES

Thailand's coffee sector 'must focus on specialties'

29/11/2012
Phusadee Arunmas

The Thai coffee industry remains promising but needs to shift its focus to specialty coffees to cope with intensifying competition induced by regional economic integration over the next three years, say industry experts.

"Although Thailand's coffee production remains low compared with other Asean countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia, Thailand has high potential to grow as the regional centre for coffee, given the quality of Thai-grown coffee, production processes and the favourable geographical location," said Varri Sodprasert, president of the Thai Coffee Association.

We may blend Thai indigenous coffee with imported coffees, but its quality, odour and flavour need unique development to make it a Thai formula.

The association's members, which include exporters, instant-coffee makers and coffee growers, will team up to focus on specialty products to raise Thai coffee's competitiveness.

Even as coffee consumption grows in Thailand each year, the country remains a net coffee importer. Several coffee growers have shifted to other lucrative plants such as rubber and oil palm because of their higher market prices.

Thailand's coffee production has dropped over the last six years to an estimated 40,000 tonnes this year.

Coffee has been grown in Thailand for more than 100 years. The country officially became a coffee exporter in 1976, selling 850 tonnes of robusta coffee.

Helped by strong world market prices in the 1980s, exports thrived, culminating in a peak in 1991-92 of 60,000 tonnes.

The collapse of the International Coffee Agreement in July 1989 and the following slump in world prices hit farmers hard. Facing an oversupply, the Thai government initiated a five-year plan in 1992 to encourage coffee farmers to switch crops.

From having a plantation area of almost 400,000 rai in 1992, Thailand is estimated to have only 280,000 rai this year, down from 310,000 rai last year.

Domestic consumption is estimated at 70,000 tonnes a year, with average growth of about 10% a year.

Thailand imports about 25,000 tonnes to supply instant coffee makers.

Per capita consumption of coffee is estimated at about 200 cups per year in Thailand, relatively low compared with 500 cups in Japan and 700-800 cups in the United States.

The Thai coffee market is worth about 30 billion baht but is mainly dominated by instant coffee and three-in-one packs.

Suthum Vichutraipop, president of the Coffee Farmers Foundation, said the lucrative market is expected to attract capital-rich investors to invest in plantations and development.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Economics, BEVERAGES, Thailand's coffee sector 'must focus on specialties', 29/11/2012, Phusadee Arunmas, link


Coffee Industry Vocabulary


coffee - the popular stimulant drink กาแฟ (See Wikipedia)

specialty -
a special product with higher ("a distinctive kind or of particular superiority"(See Free Dictionary)
specialty coffees

specialty products - "in marketing, products are separated into three major categories: convenience, shopping and specialty products. Convenience goods are inexpensive items that are frequently purchased, such as milk and eggs. Shopping goods are higher-priced items that consumers typically comparison shop for, such as refrigerators and washing machines. Specialty products are products not purchased on a regular basis and consumers do extensive research before purchasing these items. Specialty products are typically expensive are unique in nature—meaning not easily substituted" (Source: Houston Chronicle)


sector - a part of the economy (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (See Wikipedia)
coffee sector
Thailand's coffee sector

focus - the main thing you are concerned with ให้ความสำคัญ
focus on specialties'

promising - likely to be successful มีแนวโน้มที่ดี
remains promising - is still promising
The Thai coffee industry remains promising

shift - to change or move เคลื่อนย้าย,  โยกย้าย
shift focus - change the main thing you are working on

intensifying - more effort is being put into an activity
intensifying competition

cope - to deal with a problem sucessfully; deal successfully with a difficult situation รับมือกับ
cope with intensifying competition

needs to shift its focus to specialty coffees to cope with intensifying competition

integration - the process of combining with others to create a single unit or system การรวมเข้าด้วยกัน, การผสมผสาน
regional economic integration - when the economies in a region work more closely together (example: ASEAN economic integretion)

intensifying competition induced by regional economic integration over the next three years

expert - a person who knows a lot about a subject; a person with much knowledge about something ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
industry experts

potential - the possibility of success; what might happen in the future ที่มีศักยภาพ ที่เป็นไปได้
potential to grow
has high potential to grow

process -
 วิธีการ, ขบวนการ, ระบบ, การดำเนินการ,  กรรมวิธี
production processes

geographical - related to a place on the map 
geographical location

favourable -
good (good for some purpose or activity)
favourable geographical location

indigenous - naturally existing in a place or country rather than arriving from another place เกี่ยวกับชนพื้นเมือง
indigenous coffee

blend - mix, mix with other things ผสม
blend Thai indigenous coffee with imported coffee

unique - very special, unusual or good ที่มีลักษณะพิเศษ เป็นเอกลักษณ์
development - the gradual growth and formation of something
unique development

formula - the list of things that are mixed together to make something (ingredients)
a Thai formula

odour - a smell, often one that is unpleasant กลิ่น
its quality, odour and flavour need unique development to make it a Thai formula

instant-coffee - coffee made without waiting (such as Nescafe)
instant-coffee makers

team up - join together

competitiveness - how well a business can do compared to other firms (does it have lower price or higher quality?) การแข่งขัน
will team up to focus on specialty products to raise Thai coffee's competitiveness

consumption - using, eating or drinking something การบริโภค
coffee consumption

net - the difference of two things (here exports - imports with imports greater)
a net coffee importer
the country remains a net coffee importer

lucrative - profitable, can make a lot of money doing it ที่มีกำไรงาม
lucrative plants
lucrative plants such as rubber and oil palm
several coffee growers have shifted to other lucrative plants such as rubber and oil palm because of their higher market prices.

culminating - happening as the final result of a process or situation มาสิ้นสุดลงที่
peak - highest level; the time when something is at its highest or greatest level ช่วงเวลาที่พบมากที่สุด
culminating in a peak - ending at the highest level (after a series of events)

helped by strong world market prices in the 1980s, exports thrived, culminating in a peak in 1991-92 of 60,000 tonnes.

collapse - (of people and business) to fail suddenly; to suddenly be unable to continue or work correctly ล้ม (ธุรกิจ) falling down suddenly ล้ม พังครืน
collapse of an agreement
collapse of the International Coffee Agreement

slump - to fall suddenly ตกต่ำมาก a period when an economy is much less successful than before and many people lose their jobs ช่วงเศรษฐกิจตกต่ำ
slump in world prices - a big fall in world prices

the collapse of the International Coffee Agreement in July 1989 and the following slump in world prices hit farmers hard

oversupply - having too much of something; supply of the good is greater than demand forcing down prices (or eventually causing exit from market) การมีสินค้าล้นตลาด
facing an oversupply

initiated - created; started ริเริ่มโดย
initiated a plan
initiated a five-year plan
the Thai government initiated a five-year plan

switch - a change เปลี่ยน
switch crops - change to growing different crops

encourage - make people interested in and excited about doing an activity ปลุกใจ
a five-year plan in 1992 to encourage coffee farmers to switch crops

facing an oversupply, the Thai government initiated a five-year plan in 1992 to encourage coffee farmers to switch crops.

plantation - a large farm where crops such as tea, coffee, cotton, sugar or, in this case, trees, are grown ไร่ นาขนาดใหญ่
from having a plantation area of almost 400,000 rai in 1992, Thailand is estimated to have only 280,000 rai this year, down from 310,000 rai last year.

domestic -
inside the country
domestic consumption - the amount of a product that people buy and use or eat within the country
domestic consumption is estimated at 70,000 tonnes a year, with average growth of about 10% a year.

dominated - controlled, have as the most important thing ถูกควบคุม ถูกชักใย บงการ
the market is dominated by ... - the most important product in the market (sold most of the time) is ...
the Thai coffee market is mainly dominated by instant coffee and three-in-one packs

per capita
- per person
per capita consumption of coffee

capital - money invested in a business
rich - having a lot of something, such as money or experience อุดมไปด้วย
capital-rich investors

attract - to cause someone to be interested in something ดึงดูดความสนใจ
attract capital-rich investors

expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
expected to attract capital-rich investors

plantations - large farms
invest in plantations

lucrative - profitable (can make a lot of money doing this business)
the lucrative market

the lucrative market is expected to attract capital-rich investors to invest in plantations and development.

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