CP Foods head on with their corn sustainability project, to ensure raw material sourcing from deforestation-free areas.

Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (CP Foods) and CP Group’s Feed Ingredient Trading Business (FIT)’s joint development project for corn farmers enters the eighth year. This year’s mission is to help farmers raise output and quality for a better price, access modern technology, and be more environmental-friendly through non-involvement with forest encroachment and crop burning to reduce carbon emissions.  This is an effort to increase growers’ capacity and to enable the company to source 100% corn from deforestation-free areas. 

Woraphot Suratwisit, vice president at FIT, said that more training will be organized this year for corn growers in provinces where corn plantation is concentrated like Nakhon Ratchasima, Uthai Thani and Phitsanulok province under the “Self-Sufficient Farmers, Sustainable Corn Project”. The project encourages farmers to grow their crops on land with proper legal land deeds, educates them about effective and responsible production knowledge, and advocates their access to modern technology. These supports will ensure sustainability for farmers and the environment. This year’s emphasis is to pass on the knowledge on how to raise output and meet market specifications so that they can fetch good prices. Farmers will also enjoy supports in adjusting to changes: new technology will be introduced to help reduce their expenses, efficiently manage their production cost and reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions.  

The training will equip farmers with the knowledge in productivity enhancement as well as plantation techniques that will reduce GHG emissions. These techniques involve the land preparation stage. Farmers will be trained so that they can use less chemical fertilizer. Cultivation waste can be ploughed up, instead of burning. Farmers are also encouraged to grow other crops on the land to add fertility,” Woraphot said. 

With proper cultivation knowledge, farmers are assured of quality products and fewer losses from weather disturbances. In this endeavour, CP Foods provides a free-of-charge soil fertility testing service so that farmers can adjust fertilizer usage accordingly. In collaboration with True Digital, drones will be used to spray chemicals so that farmers have experience with modern agricultural technology and efficiently control their costs. During the harvest, CP Foods will open stalls near plantation areas where farmers can directly sell their output to feed mills and enjoy a lower transportation cost.  

Rewat Hathaisattayapong, executive vice president for feed business at CP Foods, added that corns are the foundation of Thailand’s food security and the raw material that poses risks on forest encroachment to the Company. CP Foods thus collaborates with FIT to execute the “no forest encroachment, no burning, we buy” guideline. The Corn Traceability system was developed in 2017 to ensure that corns were not grown in encroachment areas. In 2021, through the system, all purchased corns were proved to come from the land with proper land deeds and encroachment-free areas.  

Under the “Self-Sufficient Farmers, Sustainable Corn Project”, another collaboration, CP Foods and FIT expect to sustainably end encroachment for the economic, social and environmental balance. As corn growers produce quality corns and directly sell the produce to buyers that adopt a transparent purchase system, they will earn a fair price and enjoy a better living condition,” Rewat said.  

Aside, CP Foods feed mills have applied the Block Chain technology in information management. Plantation data is linked with the production process to assure suppliers and customers that the corn used by these feed mills come from responsible growers who did not encroach forests or burn corn cobs after harvest. CP Foods has recently extended its traceability system to cover the overseas operations in China, India, and Vietnam. /