News feeds from the Bangkok Post
ATBUK is aware that the current biggest problem facing the operation of Thai business in the UK is difficulty surrounding the import of certain fresh Thai vegetables and herbs into the EU. With this in mind the group joined forces with the Royal Thai Embassy, DEP, and the Office of Agriculture in Brussels to organise a seminar on vegetable imports from Thailand which took place on 27th January 2011 at the Royal Thai Embassy.
The seminar discussed the latest developments in the EU regulations for “high risk” vegetable imports which mainly concern problem items such as Thai aubergines, sweet basil, holy basil, coriander, mint and some types of chilli. Shortage of these ingredients could spell trouble for many Thai businesses in the UK, the majority of which are made up of more than 1500 restaurants and cafes, not to mention supermarkets and grocery suppliers.
Recent warning has come from the EU following concerns of plant health standards with regard to shipments of Thai vegetables which could pose a threat to European agriculture. Failure to meet EU standards may result in a suspension of some groups of vegetable imports to the EU from Thailand. Thai authorities have continuously consulted the EU in order to seek ways forward to avoid a formal European Union imposed ban on Thai imports. Some of the alternative measures to be taken could be a temporary self-ban or a 100% check at port of departure.
ATBUK, in coalition with the Royal Thai Embassy and Thai Trade London (DEP) are working together to keep businesses well informed of the developments relating to Thai vegetable imports as well as the ways in which Thai authorities are working to ensure the smooth flowing of future Thai imports into the UK. The group are also seeking ways in which alternative products can be sourced while Thai produce is hard to come by, while in turn ensuring that those Thai businesses that are dependent on such exports are able to continue trading as usual.
The latest ATBUK seminar was attended by Mr. Cholavit Chulabutra, a representative from the Thai Ministry of Agricultural Affairs in Brussels. Mr Cholabutra assured those in attendance that the Ministry of Agriculture is working hard to ensure that Thai farmers and producers are better informed and equipped to meet European Standards and also to implement better internal checking of shipments prior to them leaving Thailand.