Fruit growers banking on various online platforms
The Commerce Ministry is teaming up with seven leading online platforms to sell premium-grade fruit, the latest attempt to help farmers dispose of produce during the harvest season.
According to Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, the online channel will help fruit growers to drain their output now that several orchards are unable to export their produce because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The latest scheme enables local consumers to buy export-grade fruits such as mango, durian, mangosteen, longan and lychee.
The participating online platforms are Thailandpostmart, Shopee, Lazada, JD Central, Jatujakmall, Cloudmall and The Hub Thailand.
Mr Jurin said the ministry expects to draw more than 50 groups of farmers, cooperatives, community enterprises and exporters to participate in the online sales scheme.
On the export front, he said in addition to Octorocket.asia, in which the ministry forged a partnership yesterday, officials have also assigned the International Trade Promotion Department to promote more online sales for Thai fruit through several leading online platforms including China's Tmall, India's Bigbasket, Camobida's Khaleang.com, Japan's Aeon, Singapore and US's Amazon and South Korea's Lotte.
The department has been instructed to continue holding business matching events for fruit between foreign buyers and Thai exporters after the latest mango business matching event with South Korean importers drew sales of 3,200 tonnes worth US$15 million.
Mr Jurin said the government has already settled on a protocol for land transport of fruit with China, which became effective yesterday, leading to more convenient shipments to China through Laos and Vietnam.
Currently Thailand exports fruit through four border checkpoints: Mohan, Youyi Guan, Dongxing and the Pingxiang border gate.
China accounted for 57.1% of Thai fresh, frozen and dried fruit shipments last year, generating 64.5 billion baht worth of export income.
The Thai Fresh Fruit Traders and Exporters Association forecasts the export value of fruit to grow by at least 10% this year from 113 billion baht last year, as international demand for Thai fruit, including from China, remains strong despite the coronavirus contagion.