Migrant labor shortage threatens Thailand’s food export industry

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The threat of global food shortages due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has prompted several countries to buy and stockpile food from Asia. Thailand’s food industry has seen a surge in larger international orders, but the honeymoon phase could be brief as a major labor shortage in the food sector remains unresolved, according to the Federation of Food Industry president. Thai Industries (FTI), Kriengkrai Thiennukul.

The FTI says Thailand will not be affected by the lack of workers because the country has sufficient agricultural production and is a major food exporter. The low workforce in Thailand has been caused by the Covid19 outbreak, leading to the return of large numbers of migrant workers to Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia, creating challenges in the food industry and its chains supply.

Thai food factories prepared raw materials to meet growing demand due to a shortage of raw materials caused by the war. The number of Thai and migrant workers in the food industry is estimated at 500,000.”

Thailand’s tourism, service, manufacturing and export industries all want more staff. The FTI has urged the government to address the labor shortage as soon as possible by negotiating memorandums of understanding with neighboring countries to increase arrivals of migrant workers.

Economic activity improved after Thailand reopened its borders and lifted additional Covid controls, leading to increased demand for labour.

This year, the export industry will play a vital role in increasing GDP. The value of Thailand’s food exports is expected to reach 1.2 trillion baht, according to the National Food Institute.

THE SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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