The Commerce Ministry targets awarding 300 more "Thai Select" certificates to restaurants abroad this year as part of its plan to raise the profile of Thai cuisine by ensuring high food standards.
The strategy aims to increase trust in Thai food on the global stage as well as to boost demand for Thai ingredients and food.
Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said the ministry had a policy to promote sustainable prices of Thai agricultural products and commodities by promoting consumption of Thai food overseas.
“If Thai restaurants are well accepted, that will help increase demand for agricultural and raw-material imports from Thailand. The prices of farm goods will be more stable and benefit Thai farmers in the long run,” she said.
The department will send officials and experts to inspect and taste the food at each restaurant before conferring certificates.
Abroad, there are now 484 Thai Select restaurants, of which 97 were granted a premium certificate for providing superior service and serving very authentic Thai dishes.
The department has also bestowed certificates on 67 domestic Thai-food restaurants to assure foreign visitors of the superb quality and good taste of Thai food around tourist attractions.
Some ingredients and ready-to-eat Thai foods produced to high standards using authentic recipes and methods have also received certificates.
The certification system issues seals of approval to Thai restaurants abroad by gauging their food quality and service. Thai Select is part of the government’s “Thai Kitchen to the World” project, which was introduced in 2006 to boost the cuisine’s international appeal.
To build awareness of Thai foods on the international market, the department will support the plan to include one Thai recipe in each cooking class.
The department will witness the signing of an agreement between famous French cooking institute Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School and Suan Dusit Rajabhat University to include Thai menus in courses.
The department will organise “Thaifex: World of Food Asia”, an international food fair, to promote Thai food and related industries. It will be held from May 21-25 at Impact Muang Thong Thani.
The department will take some foreign food-importing companies on field trips to observe Thai food-processing plants so that they can understand better about Thai food-production procedures and technology that have been adapted to serve consumers.