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Thailand's orchid exports

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Thailand's orchid industry, hurt by floods, is on display at the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek in Chiang Mai. Important export market US focuses on quality & China on market control.

orchids

Photo above of orchids on display at the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek. Growers want to increase their quality level to penetrate the US market.  Photo below of a colourful painting of orchids (Source: Wikipedia).

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Orchids' sweet sales success, Ratchaburi growers focus on quality by Chatrudee Theparat


orchidsOrchid growers in Ratchaburi say they will focus more on quality enhancement to meet US standards following the successful penetration of that market by six Thai fruit varieties.

The cluster of orchid producers in that province hopes to attain Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certification for the US market and the Good Manufacturing Practice standard for the packing process as well as developing information technology such as software that importers or consumers can use to trace the flowers' origin.

The cluster was established 10 years ago in a bid to increase production quality for export markets.

Comprising 11 farms with a combined plantation area of 340 rai, it exports 10 million baht worth of orchids each year.

Cluster coordinator Suvitchai Saengtien said the group's members have been working with the US importer United Thai Flora Corporation for a long time, so any quality improvement and software development will be aimed at gaining greater access to that country' market.

He said the cluster, which already beats Singapore in orchid quality, received GAP certification by Thailand's Agriculture Ministry early this year.

However, this GAP standard is not the final goal. The cluster expects to take as long as three years to meet the US government's standard, which would allow Thai orchids into the company with only random quality inspections.

Mr Suvitchai believes success by his orchid cluster will help to establish development procedures that could serve as a guideline for other products, both agricultural and industrial. 

However, quality development of Thai orchids has reached a risky stage, as most producers want to export to China. 

High demand in that country has made it the top destination for orchid exports by volume, replacing Japan, which was the top market for 10 years. 

Orchid exports to Japan used to account for half of Thailand's shipments in terms of both volume and value. 

Some Chinese importers have partnered with Thai producers in a bid to control the market, said Mr Suvitchai. 

As well, the recent severe flooding hurt orchid growers in Nakhon Pathom and Bangkok, leaving the burden of supply on the other 50% of farms nationwide, a combined plantation area of only 11,000 rai. 

In 2009, the central region had 21,261 rai of orchards producing 52,422 tonnes of cut orchids and orchid plants

Last year, Thailand ranked first in tropical orchid exports, with cut flowers valued at 2.3 billion baht and plants at 422 million. 

However, export revenue from cut orchids is expected to remain at last year's level despite production being halved, as prices have doubled on high demand and decreased output. 

The cluster is asking the government to help orchid farms maintain existing production levels while earning even better prices. 

Mr Suvitchai said the value of orchid exports has remained stable at 2.3 to 2.5 billion baht annually over the past five years due to the government having no strategic plan to support upgrades in quality and price

"With the floods hitting half the orchid farms, the government won't be able to push the flowers' export value to 10 billion baht in the next five years as earlier targeted," he said.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Orchids' sweet sales success, Ratchaburi growers focus on quality, 28/12/2011, Chatrudee Theparat, link

Flower Exports Vocabulary 

orchids - a variety of plant with many different species, perhaps as many as 25,000 (See Wikipedia)

Royal Flora Ratchaphruek in Chiang Mai - a large flower exhibition in Chiang Mai held many years ago and being held again now, "a flower festival held 1 November 2006, to 31 January 2007, in the Thai city of Chiang Mai that drew 3,781,624 visitors. It was one of the grand celebrations being hosted by the Royal Thai Government in honor of King Bhumibol, the world’s longest reigning monarch" (See Wikipedia)

market penetration
- the percentage of a market or potential customers that currently use the product
penetrate the US market

focus - think about and work on one thing (rather than waste time on many), concentrate time and attention on one thing ให้ความสำคัญ
focus on quality

standards - an acceptable level of quality or achievement มาตรฐาน

quality enhancement - improving quality, increasing the quality of a good or product sold
focus more on quality enhancement to meet US standards following the successful penetration of that market by six Thai fruit varieties.

cluster - a group of things
cluster of orchid producers - a group of companies producing orchids (that work together in some ways)

certification - an official process that provides proof that certain standards have been met after tests and inspection, an official document (certificate) to prove that these standards have been met การรับรองคุณภาพ

Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certification - high standards for agriculture, produced by many different organisations but the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations produces a widely accepted set of standards (See Wikipedia and previous article)
GAP certification


packing - putting goods in boxes for sending or shipping somewhere
process - a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
Good Manufacturing Practice standard for the packing process as well as developing information technology such as software  

consumers - people who buy things (individuals and families)
trace - to discover the cause or origin of something by examining the way in which it has developed สืบหาร่องรอย to follow the same route or path that someone else used before ตามรอย ตามทาง
trace origin - to find out where something came from (and all the steps along the way) 
consumers can use the software to trace the flowers' origin

establish - to start a company or organization that will likely continue for a long time สถาปนา, ก่อตั้ง, จัดตั้ง has existed for a long time ก่อตั้่ง
in a bid to - an attempt to do something ความพยายาม
the cluster was established 10 years ago in a bid to increase production quality for export markets.

comprising ... - including ....
plantation - a large farm where crops such as tea, coffee, cotton, sugar or, in this case, trees, are grown ไร่ นาขนาดใหญ่
plantation area - the area of all the fields of a plantation; 2. the total area planted with a crop
comprising 11 farms with a combined plantation area of 340 rai, the orchid cluster exports 10 million baht worth of orchids each year.

coordinator - someone whose job is to organise the various parts of an activity and make sure that all the people involved work well together ผู้ประสานงาน ประสานงานกัน ทำงานร่วมกัน
cluster coordinator

improvement - when something gets better or when you make it better การปรับปรุง, การทำให้ดีขึ้น
quality improvement

software development

gain access - the ability to gain entry and use or see something; the ability to get something สิทธิหรือโอกาสในการใช้
gain access to market - be able to easily sell goods in a market
aimed at gaining greater access to that country' market

random - happening, done or chosen by chance rather than according to a plan ซึ่งไม่มีแบบแผน
random quality inspections- checking to see if wuality is high enough (at times that people do not know beforehand)

guideline - rules that tell you (roughly) how to do something
establish development procedures

success by his orchid cluster will help to establish development procedures that could serve as a guideline for other products, both agricultural and industrial

risky - involving the possibility of danger, harm or failure เสี่ยงอันตราย
stage - a part of an activity or process or a period of development; a particular point in time during a process or set of events ระยะ, ช่วง, ตอน จังหวะเวลา ระยะเวลา ช่วงเวลา

reached a risky stage
quality development of Thai orchids has reached a risky stage, as most producers want to export to China. 

demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses
destination - the place where a passenger or goods are going ปลายทาง จุดหมายปลายทาง
volume - the quantity or amount of something

top destination for orchid exports by volume

high demand in that country has made it the top destination for orchid exports by volume, replacing Japan, which was the top market for 10 years 

volume - the number or count (here: of goods exported)
value - the price of the goods times the number (here: of goods exported)

orchid exports to Japan used to account for half of Thailand's shipments in terms of both volume and value

partnered with - worked together with on a business project
in a bid to control the market
- trying to control the market

some Chinese importers have partnered with Thai producers in a bid to control the market

severe - very serious and worrying ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง
burden - a responsibility, a difficult thing that must be done, a heavy load to carry ภาระ (See glossary)
nationwide - including the whole country ทั่วประเทศ

the recent severe flooding hurt orchid growers in Nakhon Pathom and Bangkok, leaving the burden of supply on the other 50% of farms nationwide, a combined plantation area of only 11,000 rai

in 2009, the central region had 21,261 rai of orchards producing 52,422 tonnes of cut orchids and orchid plants 

tropical - relating to the hottest area of the Earth, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn ในเขตร้อน
last year, Thailand ranked first in tropical orchid exports, with cut flowers valued at 2.3 billion baht and plants at 422 million

revenue - income from taxes or business activities รายได้
expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
export revenue from cut orchids is expected to remain at last year's level despite production being halved, as prices have doubled on high demand and decreased output

maintain - to keep รักษา
the cluster is asking the government to help orchid farms maintain existing production levels while earning even better prices. 

stable - firmly fixed, not likely to move or change a lot,  not changing frequently and not likely to suddenly become worse or fail คงที่, มั่นคง ไม่เปลี่ยนแปลง
annually - happening every year ทุกๆปีด

strategic - done with a special plan to achieve long term goals
support - help สนับสนุน
upgrades - improvements
upgrades in quality and price
strategic plan to support upgrades in quality and price

the value of orchid exports has remained
stable at 2.3 to 2.5 billion baht annually over the past five years due to the government having no strategic plan to support upgrades in quality and price 

targeted - the goal you wished to achieve, that you were aiming at (like with a gun) ตกเป็นเป้า
with the floods hitting half the orchid farms, the government won't be able to push the flowers' export value to 10 billion baht in the next five years as earlier targeted

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