One of the Industries that needs special attention as Thai 4 rolls out over the next few years in Thailand, is the agriculture and food industry. This industry remains a mainstay of the Thai economy. It is a startling statistic and a sobering reminder that in an effort to place all of its energies into future technology, over 40% of the country’s population works in the agricultural sector. It is hugely important socially, culturally and economically as Thailand has an enormous and thriving export market for food across the globe. To work in Tandem with enabling the food sector to progress, Thai 4 is looking to Future Foods to enhance industry expansion over the next decade.
Assigned by the Ministry of Industry, the National Food Institute (NFI) is the driving force behind Future Foods. As this new concept and innovation gains strength, many believe it will be at the hub of Thailand’s economic recovery by guaranteeing stability, prosperity and sustainability.
How will the farmer be affected?
Objectives of this project include enhancing processes as well as the final product itself. This includes a fine element of education for the everyday farmer. The ultimate aim is to catapult farm worker into a new role – that of businessman. Instead of just being a labourer on the land he will need to understand more about the science of agriculture. How certain processes, products or types of manufacture are likely to boost production, deter bad harvests and encourage consistently good profits. Through a better understanding of farming processes, it is likely the manufacture of each will be enhanced. As Thai workers become more aware of trends in the marketplace, they are more likely to produce products that suit what their customers may be searching for on the global market.
Future foods has its own schedule for growth and focuses on 4 significantly different types of food:
The application of science has made us much more aware of how the foods we eat may affect our bodies. Subsequently we have a whole sector of science which deals with nutrition alone. This is the very fundamentals of good food in itself. Functional food goes that one step further. It tends to focus on one area of health enhancement or disease prevention. The promotion of health factors in the foods we buy are central to food market trends, but a functional food is produced by adding new ingredients with physiological benefits, or factors which reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond basic nutritional functions.
If a food is termed “Medical Food” then it refers to food that goes one step further than functional foods. Medical foods are aimed at those diseases, illnesses or conditions which need a specially formulated diet. These foods are usually modified for special medical purposes to suit the needs of consumers; for example, reducing sodium levels in food for patients with kidney disease or modifying carbohydrates in food for diabetic patients.
Consumers have accepted organic Foods the world over. Science has also made us aware of how the artificial additives we use when growing food, storing the foods or packaging the foods could have a detrimental effect on human health. Because organic foods tend to be so natural, the knock-on effect is they are also good for the environment. As well as the fact that there is a great export market for these foods, organic foods have become very popular and comprise one of the fastest-growing food sectors in Thailand.
Novel Foods, as the name may suggest, refers to new foods. This category encapsulates the highly-innovative foods or trending foods which are fresh to the market. Some of these foods are so new that they also require special processes and manufacture to get them to market.
New Job roles
As new innovations, concepts and technologies spread across all industries in Thailand, there is a real need for education in order to teach new skills to workers so they are able to manage new job roles. On top of this requirement, there is also a need for experienced executive staff who can oversee operations as they tentatively gain ground.
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