R&D Gears Up as CP Aims to Roll Out Hemp-based Ready Meals this Year

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Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group), Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL (CP Foods) and Maejo University (MJU) are working together to advance research and development opportunities for hemp production in Thailand. A recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Charoen Pokphand and MJU at CP Tower in Bangkok was attended by Dhanin Chearavanont, senior chairman of CP Group (seen in the center of the above photo). The agreement was signed by Soopakij Chearavanont, chairman of CP Group and CP Foods, and Associate Professor Dr. Weerapon Thongma, president of Maejo University.

Other attendees included Adirek Sripratak, chairman of CP Foods’ executive committee; Prasit Boondoungprasert, chief executive officer of CP Foods; Sumeth Pinyosanit, chief executive officer of Charoen Pokphand Produce Co.,Ltd.; and Maejo University’s professors.

Under the MoU, members of signatory organizations will work together to develop, research and produce hemp extracts that are beneficial as a quality and healthy food ingredient from a traceable supply chain. Also, parties will work on making a systematic and standard guideline for managing the hemp value chain.

The collaboration is in line with Thai government’s policy to promote hemp as a new cash crop. It is also in tune with the CP Group’s “Kitchen of the World” vision to make healthier food choices. Ultimately, this will subsequently boost the income of farmers, improving their quality of life.

Dr. Weerapon said that the collaboration will greatly add hemp research and study in Thailand. Furthermore, CP Foods’ R&D Center is ready for developing commercial hemp-based products, helping to complete the value chain.

Maejo University, which has been studying hemp and cannabis since 2011, specializes in growing organic methods.

“Research and development of hemp and cannabis plants are of great interest. However, this collaboration offers a complete value chain from field to product like this one. I am sure we will be able to develop great species as well as a good growing technique and learn how to make the best use of hemp extracts in food industry. It will benefit farmers, consumers and the country’s economy,” said Dr. Weerapon.

CP Foods’ CEO Prasit added that the company placed the utmost importance on health and safety of consumers. The CPF R&D Center will create innovative hemp-based food products that can be traced back to species and cultivation sites in order to meet the highest level of food safety.

“Research and development of hemp plants is challenging. It must be within the legal framework and safe for consumers. The collaboration with Maejo University will enable us to produce quality hemp for commercial food production,” said Prasit, who added that hemp-based ready meals from CP Foods are expected to be launched this year.