Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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SURIMI PRODUCTS FIRM TO REFOCUS ON the DOMESTIC MARKET TO BALANCE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS WITH EXPORTS

LUCKY Union Foods Co Ltd, a Thai producer of surimibased products, plans to seek a balance between domesฌtic and overseas sales to counter any risks caused by a stronger baht and trade barriers raised by importing countries.

Vantanee Saeng-U-Tai, vice president of Lucky Union Foods Co Ltd, said the company is currently subject to 20 per cent import duty on exports of its surimi products to some markets in Europe and the United States.

This is despite rival producers in countries such as Vietnam and Lithuania exporting their surimi prodฌucts to these Western markets with zero import duties and thus gaining higher trade privileges.

“Because of the [previous] strategy set by our shareholders, we have neglected the domestic market in Thailand for more than 20 years, and it is now time to come back to penetrate this potential market seriously,” she said.

The company has been exporting its frozen surimibased products from its plant in Samut Sakhon province to more than 50 markets around the world. It set up a wholly owned processing plant in Poland in 2008 to be responsible for exports of its chilled products to about 25 markets in Europe.

Vantanee said that exports accounted for about 70 per cent of total sales in 2012 and 2014, but will reach 60 per cent this year.

“Our aim is to balance export and domestic sales at 50/50,” she said, adding that for exports, the company is penetrating promising markets in Africa. Vantanee said that in export markets, the company targets people in the middle to higherincome bracket as its core customers. While in Thailand, the customers of its surimi products cover the full spectrum of income groups.

There is little difference between the bottom line margins for domestic and overseas sales, Vantanee said.

Vantanee said that Lucky Union Foods a few years ago invested in new machinery at its factory, at Samutsakorn (Mahachai) Industrial Estate, to raise its production capacity from 20,000 tonnes per annum to 40,000 tonnes. The factory now produces between 30,000 and 35,000 tonnes per year.

Lucky Union Foods also aimed to penetrate modern trade and leading department stores including supermarkets, convenience stores, food chains, fresh market representatives, and with business partners. With 27 years in business, the company has notched strong export sales, with the expansion to Poland starting in 2005.

Kani Family by Lucky Union Foods, under the concept “LUF New Renovation”, recently launched the Kani Family Taraba Red King Crab stick and announced its strategy and brandbuilding efforts that are aimed at attracting young people.

Vantanee said that, with sales targeted at food service businesses, fresh markets, food chains, and modern trade outlets with a range of products, company’s sales volume reached Bt1 billion last year. For this year, the company aims to grow that by 30 per cent to Bt1.3 billion for the domestic market. The company will expand the market and create more awareness among consumers.

“We aim to distribute our products via food service at 50 per cent and modern trade at 50 per cent,” Vantanee said. For the modern trade sector, the company planned to import more products to respond to consumers’ need.

“For the export market, we aim to grow 15 per cent to Bt2.3 billion by penetrating new markets in Europe, America, Oceania, Africa and Asia with quality products with catch certificates. The company operates under Thai Union Group’s policies for both domestic and international markets,” Vantanee said.

“With our strong research and business development team and quality assurance team, the company can develop products and expand its business with the surimi products. Produced with high technology, Kani Family Surimi Taraba Red King Crab stick is inspired by Red King Crab and made from surimi to taste like Taraba Red King Crab for everyone to enjoy.”

Suradej Chinsakuljaroen, marketing director of Lucky Union Foods, outlining the strategies for 2018, said: “For 201820, the company aims to grow 30 per cent via modern trade by focusing on ready-toeat products. The company plans to invest Bt30 million to arrange marketing activities and promoฌtions for both domestic and international markets with online campaigns to engage consumers as well as product development for premiฌum crab sticks to continue its leadership.”

“The company launched Lucky Mart Shop Online, an ecommerce channel by joining logistics partners to provide convenience and speed. For 2020, the company will open 2020 Kani Family Global strategies to expand the market and expand Kani Family brand to international market including America, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Southeast Asia with International Endorsement to grow the brand competency in the international market.”

Lucky Union Foods Co Ltd started commercial operations in 1992.

LUF is described as a highquality surimibased products processing factory.

“We are dedicated to delivering a wide variety and selections of surimi products to a large number of customers across the globe,” the company said. “The products have been widely served in types of cuisine, like sushi topping for Japanese food, in hot pots, noodles, soup toppings and cold – dishes in Chinese food, and in Westernstyle salads.

“Being a growing company, our commitment is to constantly provide our customers with wide range of healthy, quality and delicious products.”

 

 

Brian Acton, one of the co-founders of WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook for $1.6 billion in 2014, has urged people delete their accounts from the social network.

“It’s time”, Acton wrote in a tweet on Tuesday, which included the hashtag #DeleteFacebook.

Acton’s remark comes in the wake of increasing public outrage from users around the world over the misuse of private data of as many as 50 million Facebook users by British firm Cambridge Analytica.

The news which broke over the weekend has now grown into a full blown crisis with lawmakers in the US, UK and Europe demanding answers from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. On Tuesday, the BBC reported that Zuckerberg, who at the time of writing was yet to officially comment on the scandal, has not even addressed Facebook staff since the news broke, with employees at its headquarters in California being spoken to by one of the company’s senior lawyers on Monday.

Investigations in the UK and US are now underway into Cambridge Analytica, which has claimed it helped Donald Trump win the White House. Cambridge Analytica accessed the private data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission.

They did this by creating a quiz that was taken by 270,000 Facebook users. The people who created the quiz passed the data to Cambridge Analytica, which is in breach of Facebook’s policy.

Facebook said it knew about the leak since 2015, but the incident only became public last weekend after reports by the New York Times and Guardian. Meanwhile, in the wake of the scandal, Cambridge Analytica confirmed it has suspend its CEO, Alexander Nix.

 

Philips senses opportunity in digital

Posted by pakin On February - 26 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Philips Thailand Co, a healthcare business arm of Royal Philips, the Dutch electronics company, plans to focus on digital healthcare this year to capitalise on the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy.

Viroj Vithayaveroj, the company’s chairman, managing director and general manager of health systems, said Thailand’s 4.0 scheme persuaded the company to focus on selling more digital products this year. Connected healthcare is the forefront of Philips’s strategy for growing the business, he said.

Examples of connected healthcare include electronic toothbrushes such as Philips Sonicare, which can monitor a user’s oral health through a mobile app, and the Philips Air Purifier that captures 99.97% of particles and automatically purifies and visualises indoor air quality via numerical feedback, with the option to check the device’s status remotely on a smartphone.

These innovations reflect key global trends and the response to these products in Thailand has been better than expected, Mr Viroj said.

“People want to live longer and they are recognising the importance of taking a more active role in their own health,” he said. “With advances in personal technologies — like wearables and smartphones — they have the ability to do so. Prevention is more important than treatment.”

Mr Viroj said the company will also tap the hospitality industry to expand the health systems business beyond healthcare services, introducing the automated external defibrillator for international hotel brands.

Moreover, Philips plans to offer hospital design solutions in Thailand to differentiate itself from other healthcare companies. The company expects sales to better the industry’s this year but gave no further details.

Mr Viroj said Thailand’s healthcare industry has posted continuous growth of at least 10% over the last four years. The market value is now estimated at 30-40 billion baht.

“The healthcare business is not sensitive to any economic slowdown,” Mr Viroj said. “We believe the growing momentum of the healthcare business will continue this year because patient numbers should rise as a result of Thailand becoming an ageing society and the health-conscious trend.”

In addition, Asean economic integration has increased opportunities for Thai hospitals to welcome more patients with purchasing power from neighbouring countries, he said.

Philips founded its Thai operation in 1952. It makes healthcare, lifestyle and lighting products. The company started manufacturing in Thailand in 1960 with an incandescent lamp factory.

 

Former deputy national police chief Pol Gen Salang Bunnag died on Sunday after falling from the 7th floor of a shopping centre in Nonthaburi. He was 81.

His son, Pol Lt Col Hemmachak Bunnag, said Sunday that his father had suffered from depression for several years, a condition which may have contributed to his death.

Police have not officially concluded whether he had committed suicide or suffered a fatal accident. But a video clip released online showed him intentionally letting himself fall, and he left behind a lengthy note to family and the public.

The clip shows a man walking alone inside a shopping mall. He approaches a glass barrier and climbs over it before falling.

Pak Kret police were informed of a man plunging from the seventh floor at a shopping centre on Chaengwattana Road about 11am.

The man was later confirmed as Pol Gen Salang.

Pol Capt Thanawat Cheewitsophon, an officer at Pak Kret police station, said that police found several handwritten notes signed by Pol Gen Salang near the body.

The letter said he had less than two years to live and he wanted to offer society some benefit when he died.

He urged the public to oppose plans to build a double-track railway line with a track width of only one metre and elevated trains, but requested the public to push the construction of “autobahn” express highways.

Police deputy spokesman Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen said national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda offered deep condolences to Pol Gen Salang’s family.

“He did many good things for the Royal Thai Police and his death is a great loss.”

That is not a universal view.

Pol Gen Salang had a history of dramatic and controversial actions. The self-styled “tough cop” was involved in bloody incidents that brought strong criticism.

  • In 1996, after police arrested “most wanted” narcotics kingpin Joe Danchang and five other drug suspects in Suphan Buri, Salang showed up at the scene.

He took all six suspects behind a house, out of the view of a large press group, and shots were fired. Gen Salang then emerged to announce that the six men had broken free from their handcuffs and tried to grab hidden guns, with the result that all the suspects were killed and all the police were unharmed.

The Suphan Buri district court accepted Salang’s claim and ruled on Oct 8, 1999, that Joe Danchang and the other suspects grabbed concealed weapons to fight with the police before being killed by the police in the ensuing gun battle.

The father of the Joe Danchang said he accepted the court ruling, which marked the end of the extra-judicial killing case.

  • Arguably his most-remembered moment of Salang’s career came on Oct 6, 1976. As a police lieutenant-colonel, he led the anti-riot police to attack and kill students at Thammasat University, along with paramilitary forces and so-called Village Scouts. The bloody government attack on Thais ended the three-year democratic revolution of Oct 14, 1973.
  • A strong supporter of Thaksin Shinawatra from the start of the mobile phone tycoon’s political rise in the late 1990s, Salang remained a red shirt supporter until the end. He was interrogated, but never charged, after red shirt violence at Songkran, 2010, in Bangkok, and was called in during other investigations into the financing of the red shirts.
  • In October, 2008, Salang claimed he would mount an independent effort to confront anti-government yellow shirt supporters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), and “retake Government House” as they protested against then-prime minister Somchai Wongsawat.

Salang’s alleged plan was to rally a group of other ex-policemen under his command, in order to besiege Government House and cut all food and water supplies to the protesters. Although Salang received much front-page publicity, his plan never got beyond the self-promotion and tough talk.

  • More bizarrely, Salang was a central figure in the promotion of a quack “cure” for HIV in 2000-2002. Sold or given as a marketing ploy to Aids and HIV victims, the V-1 Immunitor “medicine” was revealed by health authorities as ineffective, and the medicine was banned for promotion and sale.

 

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