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Progress of Thai Shrimp Industry Is Not Due to Wal-Mart

Industry protests media ascertations

August 25, 2007


Progress of Thai Shrimp Industry Is Not Due to Wal-Mart

 

The President of Thai Eastern Shrimp Farmers Association, Mr. Bunjonk Nissapawanich, has advised that various Thai shrimp groups are to jointly submit an open letter to the Director General of the Department of Fisheries requesting the Department to provide information to the world’s media and refute claims and that the progress of the Thai shrimp industry is not due to Wal-Mart. 

 

“This is to correct any misconception about the Thai shrimp industry and the misleading news provided by a certain company for its own benefits and shameless claim for deeds that are not its own” Mr. Bunjonk said.

 

He said that a news article that appeared in print and electronic medium worldwide, which stated that Wal-Mart contributed to more successful and cleaner Thai shrimp farming, is far from the truth.  This, the industry believes has tainted its image and created a negative impact on Thai shrimp industry.  “As the representative of all Thai shrimp farmers, the Thai Eastern Shrimp Association, Thai Aquaculture Association, Chanthaburi Shrimp Farmers Club, Suratthani Shrimp Farmers Club, Krabi Shrimp Farmers Club, Trang Shrimp Farmers Club, Satun Shrimp Farmers Club, Pattani Shrimp Farmers Club and Sustainable Trad Shrimp Farmers Club deem it of the utmost importance to provide facts and correct misconception by readers the world over on these points:

 

“Firstly, the article implies that 80% of small independent Thai shrimp farms are below standard and use antibiotic in shrimp farming.  This is totally false and a big slap in the face to the Department of Fisheries.  The Thai shrimp industry has continuously developed and improved throughout its existence for more than 20 years.  To date, Thai shrimp is well known and well received by the world consumers for its high quality, food safety integrity and traceability.  This is due to the sustainable standard implemented by the Department of Fisheries and practiced by all shrimp farmers, i.e., Code of Conduct (COC) and Good Aquaculture Practice (GAP). The fact that all Thai shrimp farms operate in a closed system using probiotic farming and under stringent supervision of the Department of Fisheries makes Wal-Mart claim incorrect and impossible.  The success of Thai shrimp industry is due to the Department of Fisheries and we are most grateful.

 

“Secondly, the increase in the acreage of mangrove area is also not due to Wal-Mart.  There is a significant increase in the mangrove area.  For example in 19965, there is 1.046,043 rai of mangrove; in 2000 the mangrove area is 1,525,997 rai or an increase of 479,954 rai (+46%).  The continued increasing trend is clearly noticeable.  This is a concerted effort of shrimp farmers, shrimp farming associations, various educational institutions and agencies that are concerned of the importance of the biodiversity of the mangrove.  They have been replanting mangrove throughout the past 20 years.  Moreover, the intensive shrimp farming of Thailand is considered the most environmental friendly shrimp farming compared to other shrimp producing countries.

 

“Thirdly, the article also presents a case where a particular company that is a trading partner of Wal-Mart, has adopted a certain standard to shrimp farming in the province of Chanthaburi resulting in success and cleaner shrimp farms.  The Department of Fisheries, shrimp farmers and all those involved in the shrimp farming industry know that this is not true.  The claim that US$2 million was spent to purchase 150 farms is also not correct.  It is impossible to pay only US$13,400 or about 455,000 for one farm.  More likely, the amount is enough to purchase only 150 ponds.  This clear intention to mislead and create image for self benefit is revolting.  The fact is well known in the industry that the relationship of this particular company with shrimp farmers is at its lowest.

 

“Together with representatives of various shrimp clubs, I will present an open letter to the Director General of the Department of Fisheries.  We wish the Department to refute the claims and clarify the issues for the survival and sustainability of the Thai shrimp industry,” president of the Thai Eastern Shrimp Association added.

 

Related article

The new Wal-Mart effect

 

Dr. Juadee  Pongmaneerat of the Department of Fisheries, Thailand, will update delegates on the status of aquafeed and aquaculture in Thailand, at the Aquafeed Horizons Asia ‘08 conference in Bangkok, March 6, 2006.

For details of the conference and to register, visit www.aquafeed.info.  Note: discounted delegate fees apply to early registrations.

 

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