Processor Gains Financial Support

THAILAND - Saha Farm Group, one of Thailand’s leading poultry exporters, has secured financial support and aims to return to normal business within weeks.
calendar icon 1 August 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Troubled Saha Farm Group, one of Thailand’s leading poultry exporters, aims to return to normal business in about two months after securing financial support from Middle East investors, according to Bangkok Post.

The group, which commands approximately 20 per cent of Thailand’s poultry industry, faced a liquidity crunch due to losses incurred in 2012 from high animal feed costs, rising labour costs and the strong baht.

The company had to reduce production to about half its slaughtering capacity of 600,000 to 700,000 chickens a day.

The company’s factory producing frozen chicken in Chai Badan district of Lop Buri province was also hit by a fire around midnight on 6 July, causing damage to the whole building, which is valued at THB60 million.

Immigrant workers at the factory on 5 July held a protest demanding overdue wages, after the company failed to pay their salaries, and threatened to set the factory ablaze. The factory normally has 3,017 migrant workers from Myanmar.

Panya Chotitawan, the group chairman, told Thai Rath newspaper that the company was in the process of solving its liquidity problem and will sell some assets to get money for salary payments.

He said the company has received financial support from poultry importers in the Middle East to enable it to continue production and serve their markets. He said it would take about two months to get the company back to normal production.

Mr Panya insisted that Saha Farm, established 45 years ago, will stay in business.

The company has a payroll commitment of THB200 to 300 million each month for about 20,000 employees.

A report in Post Today newspaper said Saha Farm has debts of around THB5 billion, with the largest amount owed to the state-run Krungthai Bank, followed by Thanachart Bank and the Islamic Bank of Thailand.

Bangkok Post report that, in September 2012, the company said that it aimed to increase annual exports of chicken to 120,000 tonnes, up from 90,000 tonnes, after the European Union allowed imports of fresh poultry meat from Thailand.

The National Food Institute projects exports of Thai poultry and products at 646,000 tonnes in 2013, up 15 per cent from 2012, worth about THB80 billion.

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