(18 May 2022) Charoen Pokphand Foods PLC (CPF) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gunkul Engineering PLC (GUNKUL) and Charoen Pokphand Produce Co., Ltd. (CPP) for the integrated development of cannabidiol-infused food and beverage products that offer full traceability and satisfy the growing demand among health-conscious consumers.
Representing CPF, GUNKUL and CPP at the signing ceremony at CP Tower Silom were Mr. Prasit Boondoungprasert, Chief Executive Officer of CP Foods; Mr. Somboon Aueatchasai, Chief Executive Officer of GUNKUL; and Mr. Sumeth Pinyosnit, Chief Executive Officer of CPP, respectively. Also present at the ceremony were Gunkul’s representatives - Chairman Dr. Gunkul Dhumrongpiyawut, Executive Chairman Miss Sopacha Dhumrongpiyawut and Chief Operating Officer for Energy and Cannabis Business Mr. Phongsakorn Damnoen; CPF’s Executive Vice President for R&D Dr. Sommai Tachasirinugune; and Mr. Sayan Hongsa of Charoen Pokphand Group.
Mr. Prasit Boondoungprasert said that as an integrated food producer, CPF takes an interest in hemp as a new economic crop that can be turned to value-added food and beverages in light of growing demands both domestically and internationally. The collaboration will lead towards the upstream, midstream and downstream development of products in line with CPF’s vision of “Kitchen of the World”. These products will also strengthen the competitiveness of CPF and Thailand’s food industry.
Dr. Sommai Tachasirinugune added that the collaboration would support CPF’s mission to develop cannabidiol-infused products with international-standard quality control throughout the supply chain and traceability to the hemp plant, cultivation techniques, harvest and extraction. The process will assure consumers of quality and safety. The three partners expect to launch a refreshing and relaxing functional drink as the first product within this year.
Mr. Somboon Aueatchasai stressed that under the collaboration with CPF, G.K. Hemp Group Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Gunkul authorized for the commercial production of cannabidiol, will control the entire production process from the cultivation in closed and standardized buildings. The project will grow seeds without soil but with RO water. The plant will be free from pesticides, to leave zero contamination and residue, before extraction at a standard factory that promises traceability. The subsidiary has worked closely with CPF and CPP in seed improvement, cultivation techniques and extraction, for the appropriate and safe development of CBD-infused products for the best interests of consumers.
Mr. Sumeth Pinyosnit added that CPP, with the expertise and experience in upstream production, is responsible for the supply and improvement of unique breeds as well as cultivation techniques. CPP has joined leading universities like Maejo University and Kasetsart University’s research on hemp cultivation that involves breed selection, cultivation and scientific caring methods. Under the tripartite collaboration, CPP will supply greenhouse hemp cultivated accordingly to the Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), to ensure safety. With GUNKUL, CBD safe for the manufacturing of food and beverage products will be extracted from the plant.
The market for CBD-infused products tends to grow bigger, especially in the food and beverage segment, thanks to the favourable geographical and weather conditions of Thailand. Thailand demonstrates high potential in hemp cultivation and CBD-related product manufacturing. It is also internationally recognized as a center of quality food and beverage products that are safe and meet international standards. The tripartite collaboration is expected to address the growing need for health food and beverage products, which promises new opportunities for farmers and others in the supply chain and enhance the competitiveness of Thailand’s food industry in the global stage as well as the country’s economic values./