March 4, 2004



Thailand's CP Accused Of Egg Dumping


Thai food giant Charoen Pokphand (CP) has been accused of dumping eggs in Chiang Rai. More than 100 chicken farmers protested yesterday outside its local office against the company's price dumping tactics.


More than 200 farms that produce around 600,000 chickens have been hit hard because CP sells its eggs at Bt1 each. The production cost for each egg is between Bt1.50 and Bt1.70, Puang Sithisombat, chairman of a chicken farmers' club, said.


"The company is trying to destroy us so they can monopolise the market,'' he added.


The group threatened to boycott CP products should it continue with its price dumping tactic.


CP's Chiang Rai branch admits to selling the eggs below cost. "But the purpose was to stimulate the market temporarily after the bird flu epidemic. The company used only 30,000 eggs to stimulate the market from March 15," Nipat Ongkula, the branch manager, said.


"Compared with the egg consumption of Chiang Rai, which is about 300,000 eggs, the amount is very little,'' he said.


Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry refuses to pay Bt138 million to chicken exporters who helped the government pay compensation to chicken farmers who were forced to cull their chickens during the bird flu epidemic.


The government wants cooperation from chicken exporters to help the government pay the compensation. Some exporters agreed to help but now some of them want their money back, Deputy Agriculture Minister Newin Chidchob said.


"We will have to persuade those who still resist to understand that they should be willing to help the government solve the problem,'' he added.