“Starch And Sustainability.“
Thai Wah believes in all-round benefits for its stakeholders.
Thai Wah Public Company Limited, a 75-year veteran in Thailand’s agriculture and food industry, has redoubled its efforts to promote and embed sustainability and social responsibility in all aspects of its daily operations. The company operates in five countries, namely Thailand, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, and Indonesia and exports its starch and starch-related food products to more than 32 countries worldwide.
The food producer has been particularly adept at leveraging profitability whilst navigating environmental challenges like climate change and water scarcity and has striven to conduct its business with strict adherence to the core principles of good corporate governance and sound business ethics. To this end, social responsibility towards sustainability is an essential element to Thai Wah’s business model.
The manufacturing giant has shown a deep commitment to Create Shared Value or CSV, from efficient sourcing of raw materials to sustainable management and development of the supply chain. One of its CSV initiatives is the Sustainable Supply Chain project, which aims to instill awareness and passion for agriculture amongst students. Notably, Thai Wah has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mae Charao Witthayakhom School from the Tak Province in a bid to promote agro-technology and organic farming.
Under the helm of Chief Executive Officer, Ho Ren Hua, Thai Wah continues to expand its reach, rolling out 14 key initiatives in 2020 related to Farm Development, Green Factory and Community, Family Work and Life Balance, and Organic and Healthy Food R&D. These strategies are aimed at reaping appropriate benefits for shareholders as well as enhancing consumer health, the livelihood of employees, business partners, and the community at large.
Analysis and prioritization of stakeholder groups have been continuously executed to assess positive and negative impacts, both external and internal, from Thai Wah’s business operation, as the company believes that stakeholder engagement and collaboration is an essential component for its strategic planning in the economic, social, and environmental dimensions.
Through the participation of both internal and external stakeholders, Thai Wah hopes to disseminate critical agricultural knowledge within the community, and is fully cognizant that the efficient use of natural resources and environmental conservation are critical factors to economic mobilization and social development.
Thai Wah has worked in collaboration with Thailand’s Ministry of Industry and grassroots leaders to organize a volunteering project for community reforestation and the release of fish breeds in Maung district’s Udon Thani.
The company also places great emphasis on managing its business in accordance with international standards, and adopting modern technologies throughout the manufacturing process. The company’s plant management system utilizes solar energy and other environmentally friendly, alternative innovations.
One of these measures is the implementation of innovative biobased and biodegradable products, derived from tapioca starch, making them 100% compostable under soil burial and allowing drastic reduction in usage of production resources. In addition, Thai Wah has ceased utilizing solid sulphur in the production process to mitigate air pollution caused by combustion, and to minimize health hazards to its workers.
Thai Wah also provided support for Cassava Mosaic Virus Prevention and Eradication Day by dispatching pertinent experts, providing gifts to the participants and using agricultural drones that spray non-chemical substances to prevent whiteflies, which are major vectors of transmission for the disease. Since 2019, the company, in collaboration with the Thai Tapioca Development institute, has built 10 greenhouses for research and development, with the aim of producing varieties of waxy cassava seedlings that withstand the disease.
“A business dealing in the production of food products will now, more than ever, be judged on the environmental viability of its operation. I am glad to say that Thai Wah meets and exceeds many of these criterion”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group