Ministry launches mobile fruit stores to roam capital

Ministry launches mobile fruit stores to roam capital

Fresh durian is loaded into a Thong Fah mobile fruit store. There are 350 such stores across Bangkok.
Fresh durian is loaded into a Thong Fah mobile fruit store. There are 350 such stores across Bangkok.

The Commerce Ministry yesterday introduced Thong Fah low-priced mobile fruit stores in pickup trucks, the latest move to dispose of abundant fruit during the harvest season.

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the mobile fruit store initiative, in partnership with Talaad Thai market, is starting with 350 participating mobile stores that will peddle fruit along sois and communities in Greater Bangkok.

Apart from fruit, participating mobile grocery stores also sell vegetables and consumer goods.

Chokchai Kolsrichai, vice-chairman of the executive committee of Thai Agro Exchange Co, the operator of Talaad Thai market, said the company is recruiting unemployed labourers or the general public to operate the mobile stores to cater to surging demand for fresh food as more people stay home during the pandemic.

The market is owned by tycoon and former politician Pradit Phataraprasit.

Interested applicants are required to have their own truck and cash of between 8,000 and 15,000 baht to buy fresh food, vegetables and grocery items available at Talaad Thai. Return on daily investment is an average of 2,000 baht per day.

Some 500 mobile grocery vendors come to buy fresh food, fruit and grocery items at Talaad Thai per day. These vendors sell their products to people in outer Bangkok and suburban areas such as Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi.

Mr Chokchai said the uptick in mobile grocery vendors is in response to more customers cooking at home, as well as helping the unemployed and supporting farmers and consumers during this difficult period.

In addition to the mobile grocery store, the company also plans to recruit more mobile truck vendors this year to sell seasonal fruit, up from 200-300 last year. The mobile fruit grocery store will provide service from April to July.

"We expect domestic fruit supply across the country to be abundant this year, as purchases from China are expected to drastically fall due to the coronavirus pandemic," Mr Chokchai said.

As part of the ministry's fruit management efforts, the ministry is scheduled to promote fruit exports through online platforms later this month.

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