January 5, 2021


Thailand attempts to recover shrimp sales by cutting out central distribution market



Thailand is attempting to recover from a COVID 19-driven slump in sales of farmed shrimp by cutting out a central distribution market, according to the country's Commerce Ministry, Bangkok Post reported last month.


Farmed shrimps have been shunned by consumers following the recent outbreak of COVID-19 at the central shrimp market in Samut Sakhon. Many consumers have associated shrimp distribution markets with the virus outbreak and have declined to purchase shrimps, causing demand to plummet in recent days.


The Department of Internal Trade (DIT) will arrange to have modern trade stores and members of the Thai Restaurant Association (TRA) buy the shrimps directly from the farms.


By cutting out the distribution markets, seen as potential breeding grounds for the virus, the Commerce Ministry believes consumers will feel more at ease in buying or consuming shrimps, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.


The concerns have persisted - despite assurances by health and fishery authorities - that farmed shrimps are safe to eat if cooked properly, Laksanawisit said.


The DIT will take a leading role in creating business matching opportunities between shrimp farmers and modern trade stores and the TRA. The parties are being invited to a meeting to discuss direct shrimp sales, the minister said.


Modern trade stores expected to take part in the programme are The Mall, Tesco Lotus, Foodland Supermarket, Big C and Makro, he said. The TRA has an extensive network of members, 500 of whom are owners of restaurants in Bangkok, he added.


As for the decision by neighbouring Laos to ban imports of seafood from Thailand over COVID-19 fears, the Department of Fisheries, the Thai commerce attache and the Thai ambassador in Vientiane were attempting to secure an appointment with their Lao counterparts for talks aimed at raising Laos' confidence in seafood from Thailand, he said.


- Bangkok Post

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