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For Thai poultry farmers, partnerships and market access fuel development

June 11, 2018

In 2006, Anurak Farm partnered with Cargill’s poultry business in Thailand with the capacity to raise a respectable 20,000 broiler chickens per cycle.

Twelve years later, it’s more than 1.2 million – fueled by a rising appetite for protein and steady local investment from companies like Cargill to help farmers meet it.

“My business has grown rapidly, my family has better opportunities and my life has changed,” said Anurak Ruethaitham, the farm’s owner.

The growth of Ruethaitham’s business mirrors the trajectory of the growth of Cargill’s poultry business in Thailand.

Twenty-six years ago, Cargill’s poultry business opened shop in the country with 1,000 employees processing 400 broilers per day. Today it employs more than 13,000 people producing about 100,000 metric tons of chicken every year, and has become Thailand’s top cooked chicken exporter.

Cargill supports the growth of Southeast Asian poultry farmers with training programs ranging from animal husbandry to safety to technology. For smaller farmers, that support can play a key role in bringing labor, food safety and quality standards in line with the requirements to do business in export markets.

The company is also working to ensure high standards of animal welfare and to improve sustainability within its poultry business, including how birds are raised and fed and the environmental impact of operations.

“Our growth here has been possible because of food safety and quality, and the same is true for our customers,” said Pattamon Preopanich, communications lead for Cargill Protein Southeast Asia. “In a global market, we need to maintain that trust.”

Ruethaitham has plans to expand, and Cargill has expanded production in Thailand while making investments in Indonesia and the Philippines to support a growing regional poultry business.

“I truly believe we’re just getting started,” Ruethaitham said. “We work together, and we grow together.”