Utilization of Standardization
For Manufacturing Farmers, manufacturer and exporters can use these standards as benchmarks to improve quality of their production and products, which will help grading their goods in accordance with the national and international levels.
For Trade In the past, buyers usually set out specifications for goods they wanted to buy; different buyers had different specifications. In other words, there were no standards set for products or quality of products that everyone could refer to. Therefore standardizations of products for their quality, size, or taste will help create enchmarks for both buyers and sellers, which will also help establish fair trade for both sides. ACFS has set a target to issue standards for the whole food chain of agriculture ommodities. For instance, the standardization of jasmine rice will start from characteristics of paddy, unhusked rice and white rice. This chain involves everyone from farmers, millers, traders, packaging factories, and exporters. The standard of jasmine rice will cover both elements of product quality and its safety for consumers. ACFS also issued a Good Agriculture Practice for Thai jasmine rice, which falls under the agency?s concept of standardization covering from paddy fields to dining table. It is the same standard set for domestically sold and exported products.
For Certification The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative?s food safety strategy has set a target to register and certify farms of plants, fishery and livestock to standardize their practice by using GAP as an evaluation tool. ACFS is obliged to set the standards of GAP in fields that farmers need and go along with the plans of action for certification by agencies in the ministry, namely the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Fishery and the Department of Livestock Development. Then ACFS standards will be communicated to farmers by the three departments and including the Department of Agriculture Promotion and the Department of Cooperative Promotion. These three certification agencies will then use ACFS standards to evaluate those farms.
For International Trade Negotiation National standardization helps international facilitate trade negotiations, especially on the equivalence agreements between Thailand and our trading partners. Most of these countries will require Thailand to have equivalent standardizations as theirs. Such requirement is not a problem to Thailand because ACFS standards are on par with international standards set by Codex, IPPC or OIE. On some occasions, Thailand proposed some standards for Codex to issue as international practices such as standards for longan and asparagus. We are also working on some other standards for Codex to apply such as rambutan.
In conclusion, agriculture commodity and food standards prepared by ACFS can be applied by all steakholders, which can benefit all parties concerned in the industry and the economy as a whole. Speedy approvals and passages of new agriculture commodity and food standards with transparency are themselves a commodity for the growth of our food and agriculture commodity markets. Therefore it needs cooperation from all parties concerned to push for the world?s standards of Thai food and agriculture commodity for the benefit of the country.