Health Food to Be Emphasized in the 2012 “Kitchen of the World” Project
- January 10, 2012
The Ministry of Industry will emphasize health food in its 2012 “Kitchen of the World” project, which will promote Thai cuisine standards and make Thai food better known to the world.
The Deputy Permanent Secretary for Industry, Miss Krisana Ruayajin, said that this year’s strategy aims to penetrate the upper-end market in an effort to increase the value of Thai food, especially agricultural products.
She said that the strategy is also in line with the current trend toward health-consciousness. The Ministry of Industry has set aside 80 million baht to carry out the project this year. Apart from the focus on quality and safety of Thai food, it will give a major boost to research work on nutritional value, so that Thai cuisine would gain greater recognition at the international level. Public relations campaigns will also be launched to promote the image of Thai food as health food.
The Kitchen of the World project started in the middle of 2003, when the Government came up with a plan to develop Thailand’s food industry under the “Farm to Table” concept. The project also encourages Thai cooks to work overseas in order to introduce authentic Thai cuisine, and it calls for more exports of raw materials in Thai food preparation.
The National Food Institute of Thailand, a non-profit and independent network organization of the Ministry of Industry, has played an important role in promoting the Kitchen of the World project. In order to help Thailand achieve the status of the Kitchen of the World, the Government has encouraged Thai people living in Thailand and foreign countries to open more Thai restaurants overseas. The project has made good progress, as seen from the increasing number of Thai restaurants abroad in recent years.
In order to ensure that Thai restaurants in other countries serve authentic Thai food, the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) has offered a “Thai Select” certification to the Thai restaurants abroad that use Thai ingredients and recipes. There are currently more than 1,200 Thai restaurants worldwide that have been given this certification.
The National Food Institute believes that the project would double the number of small and medium-sized food business operators in the next three years, while helping promote Thailand as a food hub, in preparation for the realization of the ASEAN Community by 2015.
Thailand is now recognized as the number one food producer in the ASEAN region and the sixth in the world. The special quality of Thai food is its ability to reflect three key values – nutritional, cultural, and medicinal – with the use of fresh ingredients and well-trained natural talent in cooking methods and presentation techniques.