A Blend of Tradition, Innovation, and Global Influence
Thailand, renowned for its diverse range of tropical fruits, has made a significant mark on the global stage. In 2021 alone, the country exported $290M in dried fruits, making it the 2nd largest exporter of dried fruits globally. This success can be attributed to the country’s strategic location, well-established trade agreements, and skilled workforce.
The industry isn’t just about exporting raw fruits. It’s about creating value-added products that meet international standards. Companies like GCF International and Thai Ao Chi Fruits lead the way in this sector, offering a variety of dehydrated fruits and processed food ingredients to the global market.
But the industry’s success isn’t just about numbers. It’s about the people and communities it supports. The production of dried fruits often takes place in rural areas, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the economic development of these communities.
However, the journey isn’t without challenges. The industry faces hurdles such as changing consumer tastes and increasing competition. But with challenges come opportunities. The Thai government and businesses are working together to improve production standards, develop new fruit varieties, and seek new export markets.
In 2021, the main destinations for Thailand’s dried fruit exports were China ($227M), Vietnam ($11.6M), the United States ($9.93M), Hong Kong ($4.15M), and Malaysia ($3.66M). The fastest-growing export markets for Thailand’s dried fruits between 2020 and 2021 were China ($11.9M), Norway ($1.16M), and Bhutan ($1.13M).
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, such as a decrease in fruit orders and difficulties in fruit transportation, the industry can continue to grow in the long term as income increases in various countries. Thai fruit exporters are encouraged to not only export raw fruits but also create and process these fruits to increase their value and continuously upgrade production standards.
The future of Thailand’s dried fruit industry looks promising. With a commitment to quality, innovation, and sustainability, the industry is poised for continued growth. So, the next time you enjoy a packet of dried mango or a handful of raisins.