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Quan Fa Organic Farm expands overseas to Thailand - MRA Grant

Quanfa Organic Farm is a Singapore based organic farm and trading company, which has gains strong momentum in Singapore for the last few years. They subscribes to ecological agrarian methods of farming, abstaining from the use of pesticides and harmful fertilizers, to produce only the freshest food crop that is both nutritious and healthy.

Since they have established their business in 1999, They have been cultivating organically grown vegetables for the large masses of Singaporeans. Over the years, Quan Fa has grown from humble beginnings of a small organic vegetable retailer to one of the leading distributors in Singapore today.

To ensure the freshness of their produce, Quan Fa ensures that all harvesting and packaging is done in the morning.

Expanding to Thailand for Singapore SMEs

Thailand is a leading food exporter: rice is the chief export, accounting for about 17.5 percent of all food exports, followed by chicken, sugar, processed tuna, tapioca flour, and shrimp.

The major agricultural products exported by Thailand, notably rice, poultry meat, sugar and fruits, are also produced in the major industrialized countries, where they enjoy high levels of protection. Typically, post-UR MFN tariffs on these products range from 100 to 200 percent.

Thailand's largest export markets are Japan, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The Asian country has released its 2021 fruit export numbers, ramping up its exports by almost a half in a year. According to Global Trade Atlas data, this rocketing surge in exports has placed Thailand as the 7th largest fruit export.

For some products, such as pineapple, exports have doubled or even quadrupled in the case of citrus foods. However, this considerable increase could have been more significant as exports were predicted to reach a 67% increase by the Trade Policy and Strategy Office of Malaysia, according to a 2021 statement.

The Thai Government has set its sights on emerging as the South East Asian Regional leader in organic food production, hoping to create a boost to the Thailand Economy.

Thailand has been injecting investments into the development of its organic food for several years now under the national Action Plan on Organic Agriculture (2017-2022), implementing over 340 projects for the past 5 years.

According to the Thailand Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC), these efforts have yield fruits in the increase of organic exports from Thailand over the years, which shown an average growth rate of 44% yearly from 2017 to 2020.

As a small island nation, Singapore lacks natural resources — it imports more than 90% of its food from more than 170 countries and regions.

With the country vulnerable to many external headwinds, the government launched a “30 by 30” initiative to produce 30% of its nutritional needs by 2030.

Organic food has been considered as niche market a few years ago. In recent times, organic food can be found easily in neighbourhood supermarkets like Sheng Siong and NTUC FairPrice. However, the cost of organic produce in a city-state with limited agricultural lands may take a toll on the local foodservice industry.

There is a growing Interest and desire for food that is not only healthy but also fresh, real, hormone and antibiotic free. Singaporeans are looking for food coming for a good source, and that it will be safe and healthy for everyone to eat.

Apart from home dining, restaurants and eateries are starting to explore new recipes that will maximise the benefits of organic food while providing the best taste experience. For example, cooking vegetables in lower heat or exposed to high heat for a shorter period of time to retain the essential vitamins and nutrients, while adding an extra crunch to the texture and preserving the fresh-green appearance. When consumers are able to enjoy familiar dishes presented with a new twist and better health benefits, they will be more inclined to make repeated purchases.

Opportunity for Foreign Export Companies in Thailand

Throughout the course of our consultancy process, we have observed that the local market sentiments created a perfect opportunity for Quan Fa to setup an Export company in Thailand. Thailand is considered an untapped market for organic produce, with different species of organic fruits and vegetables.

In Thailand, the challenges for foreign companies to source for Thai Organic Produce are:

  1. Language Barrier

  2. Export Law

  3. Logistics

  4. Travelling to different farms

  5. Capacity per farm (for organic produce)

With our knowledge and established networks in Thailand, Apstellar has assisting Quan Fa in establishing their Thailand office through the MRA Grant under Enterprise Singapore. We will be progressing the project towards the next phase, to aid Quan Fa in recruitment and implementing business matching services to source for Organic Thai Farmers.


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