Leading companies and private-sector associations are cooperating with the Commerce Ministry to draw up strategies to help connect OTOP (One Tambon, One Product) merchandise with their target consumer groups.
These include Central Group, Thai Airways International, King Power, CP All, Central Food Retail, The Mall Group, the Marketing Association of Thailand and the Thai Gifts Premiums & Decorative Association.
Banjongjitt Angsusingh, director-general of the ministry’s Department of Business Development, said all of these private-sector groups had agreed on commercial-product development for OTOP products, while focusing on their quality and standards with production continuity, before business-matching for marketing channels.
Sometimes, producers of a desirable OTOP product have found that they are unable to keep up with demand, which disappoints customers and can damage future markets for the product, she said.
“Producers must understand the market mechanisms and create products that meet customer demands and [keep up with] fast-changing social trends.”
She said that under the public-private collaboration, her department would select products from OTOP groups that were given ratings of three to five stars last year and develop markets for them through business matching and help find them distribution channels both offline and online.
Among the marketing channels discussed for selected OTOP products are department stores, souvenir shops, airports and tourist-attraction spots, while e-commerce and franchising of OTOP-product shops are other possibilities.
Provincial offices of the Commerce Ministry have been assigned to select 2,380 OTOP products that meet ministry standards out of a total of 8,039 products granted three-to-five star ratings last year.
Those 2,380 products will be further narrowed down to represent four OTOP categories (one per category from each province), ending up with a total of 308 OTOP products to be supported in the joint public-private promotion programme.
The four categories are clothing, foods and beverages, decorative items, and non-food herbal products.
Last year, the Interior Ministry’s Community Development Department granted ratings of tree to five stars to 8,039 OTOP products.
Of that total, 1,985 or 25 per cent were classified as five-star, 3,826 or 47 per cent as four-star, and 2,228 or 28 per cent as three-star. Of the total, 2,745 OTOP products or 34 percent were categorised in the clothes and apparel group, 2,195 products or 27 percent in the food group, 1,970 products or 25 percent as decorative items, 693 products or 9 percent in the non-food herbal group, and 436 products in the beverage group.