Tesco Lotus yesterday revealed the success of its 22 Pracha Rath projects, which have been enhanced in cooperation with government agencies and people in local communities to create positive economic and social impacts to more than 2,500 families in 20 provinces across Thailand.
Through the projects, farmers and small business operators have earned additional income from supplying their products to the supermarket giant. They are now on the path to sustainable growth, having gained the capabilities to compete in the Thailand 4.0 era.
The projects have been carried out with the support of government agencies and local communities.
John Christie, chief executive of Tesco Lotus, said the company had offered quality fresh food and products at affordable prices to customers in Thailand for more than 20 years.
“As a leading retailer, we are also committed to contributing to the growth of the Thai economy, social development, and the protection of the environment. In 2016, we played our part in supporting the government’s Pracha Rath framework by undertaking 22 Tesco Lotus Pracha Rath Ruamjai projects,” he said.
“The success of these projects meant a secure source of income and sustainable growth for more than 2,500 families across 20 provinces in Thailand.”
The retailer’s Pracha Rath Ruamjai projects drew on the strengths of each of the three parties involved – the government and the private and public sectors.
Christie said that while the government offices contributed technical know-how about farming best practices and safety standards, Tesco Lotus gave advice about crop planning, the basics of business operations and supply chain management, as well as providing distribution channels for farm and locally made products.
“A majority of the Pracha Rath projects involves the direct sourcing of local produce from farmers, providing them not only a steady source of income, but also an opportunity to grow with Tesco Lotus. Customers also benefit from having access to high quality and safe products at affordable prices," he said.
In 2016, Tesco Lotus purchased more than 150,000 tonnes of produce directly from farmers. This was an increase of 50 per cent on the previous year.
More than 9,000 small and medium-sized enterprises and OTOP One Tambon, One Product operators are able to offer their products through the retailer’s network of more than 1,800 stores and online shopping platforms.
“The 22 Pracha Rath projects have clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of the Pracha Rath framework. Aside from the tangible monetary benefits for the farmers and local business operators, the projects have laid a strong foundation for the communities involved to be ready for the Thailand 4.0 era,” Christie said.
“Using a market-led approach, Tesco Lotus has guided farmers and small operators to improve product quality and safety, understand cost structure, and create value for their products in order to compete domestically and look beyond the borders of Thailand.”
He said Tesco Lotus would continue to roll out more Pracha Rath projects and expand the scale of the existing ones to involve larger communities on the provincial and regional levels in order to promote strong networks of farmers and SME operators.
“Ultimately, this will benefit not only the participating local groups, but also our customers and the people of Thailand, leading to sustainable growth of the Thai economy,” he said.