March 31, 2006


Thai chicken processors cooking poultry meat to boost exports



Thailand's chicken processors are offering their international customers premium, cooked products in a bid to recover their export sales which have been badly affected by the bird flu crisis.


The ban on fresh meat has encouraged processors to look for new ways of selling poultry while exports of cooked poultry products have increased by 38 percent since 2004.


Exports of cooked poultry meat are expected to continue rising this year to some 350,000 tonnes, said Pornsri Laurujisawat, manager of the Thai broiler processing export association.


Although Thailand exported 265,000 tonnes of cooked chicken in 2005, the figure is still significantly less than the 543,000 tonnes of poultry meat exported in 2003.


Laurujisawat said cooked products are premium products and the new marketing strategy will be good for Thai poultry processors. In addition, the processors have the skills needed for cutting and separating the chicken parts and preparing it for convenience products.


Growth in convenience foods in Thailand's major export markets such as Japan and the EU will justify Thailand's new marketing strategy for poultry exports.

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