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13May2001 INDIA: 13 food parks proposed.

THE Ministry of Food Processing has sanctioned 13 food parks in different parts of the country of which the Kerala Industrial Infrastructural Development Corporation (Kinfra) at Kozhikode will be the first modern food park in the country.
This was stated by Mr Chaoba Singh, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, at a presentation on "Kinfra Food Processing Park" organised jointly by CIFTI, UNIDO and Kinfra on the subject "Advantage Kerala: Avenues in Food Processing".
Mr Singh said that as part of the strategy to develop food processing infrastructure, a policy decision has been taken to vigorously pursue food processing parks in different parts of the country incorporating common facilities such as cold storage, warehouse, quality control lab, effluent treatment plant and packaging.
This could be used by small and medium industries which find it difficult to invest in capital-intensive activities. Using these high capital-intensive common facilities, downstream secondary processors can manufacture high-value products with lesser investment thereby becoming cost competitive, the Minister said.
Mr Singh hoped industries would come forward and establish units in these parks, which would help food processing industries grow at a fast pace. To achieve the desired results in food processing, a strong partnership is required among R&D institutions, academic institutions, industry business houses, community and the Government, Mr Singh said.
Further, UNIDO is extending technical assistance to the project, which aims at building in quality and environment management. One of the major areas of assistance will be establishing internationally acceptable quality systems in the industrial units coming up in the park.
(c) The Hindu Business Line.

14May2001 MALAYSIA: BORNEO BULLETIN - Brunei - Canned food from Sabli.

The recent move by the Ministry of Religious Affairs to reduce the importation of canned food containing meat which is considered 'dubious' has led to a local company stepping forward to produce locally-made canned products.
The Sabli Food Canning Factory was set up at the Serambangun Light Industrial Area in the Tutong district about two years ago with a $1 million investment. It is equipped with hi-tech equipment from the US, Sweden and Malaysia.
The factory is now producing some 3,000 cans of chicken and meat products. They include kurma, curry, ketchup as well as rendang chicken and meat. The canned products are now available in the local market.
According to Manager, Azizi Ladis: "At first, we went to several places in the country including restaurants, houses and the army camp to allow the customers to test our products. After about five consecutive food samplings, we came up with a recipe that captured everyone's hearts and taste buds."
With a workforce of 15, mostly locals, the factory is now aiming to produce some 10,000 canned products per day. There are also plans to expand the menu to 20 types of products including beans and curries packed in fancy aluminium packages.
Azizi said that besides Good Management Practice (GMP), the factory emphasised upon three major criteria namely, cleanliness, Halal products and health. The canned products are free from any preservatives, fat and chicken skin. The chicken is brought fresh from local farms.
The staff is required to practice proper hygiene by wearing masks, aprons and caps. Before entering the production premises, they are totally disinfected.
In an effort to capture the foreign market, Sabli Food Industry will take part in the Jeddah Food exhibition in July to showcase their products.
Sabli started its activities in 1984 with the production of 'rempah' or spices. It then expanded its business to other fields including the production of chilli sauce, ketchup (produced in Malaysia) drinks, bread, restaurants and travel agency.
All Material Subject to Copyright
Copyright 2001:. All Rights Reserved.


14May2001 THAILAND: THAI PRESS - Govt To Liberalize Beer, Liquor Production.

BANGKOK - (Dow Jones)-The Thai government will allow individuals and small companies to produce alcoholic beverages as part of the nationwide effort to boost entrepreneurship and community businesses, the Nation reports Monday, quoting a source at the finance ministry.
The source said Finance Minister Somkid Jatusripitak is expected to submit to the Cabinet soon a draft bill to lift all restrictions on small distilleries.
If approved, it would liberalize production of spirits and beer, which is currently monopolized by a few big producers. Farmers and small businesses in particular would benefit.
- By Suttinee Yuvejwattana, Dow Jones Newswires; 662-266-0744; suttinee.yuvejwattana@dowjones.com.
(Copyright (c) 2001, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.).

12May2001 MALAYSIA: Penang FA ban bottled drinks.

By Lee Keng Fatt.
PENANG FA have enforced a blanket ban on the usage of plastic bottled drinks at Batu Kawan Stadium in a move to check crowd violence in the Premier One League.
Also not allowed into the stadium are umbrellas, flag-poles and crash helmets.
Ice cubes, which can be tightly packed in plastic bags, will also not be sold at the stadium's terraces.
There will be an additional deployment of security and police personnel at the 40,000-capacity stadium, particularly after the match as precautionary measures to check any untoward incidents.
If that is not enough, FA secretary Mohd Junid Mohd Noor said yesterday he would make himself available at the stadium's main entrance at the end of a match to allow the fans to vent their anger on him for the team's poor showing.
"I am prepared to do that and will accept their criticism in a gentleman's manner.
"Please scold or shout at me for all you want but do not throw objects into the pitch or onto the terrace," said Mohd Junid.
Mohd Junid said he had no qualms of being the target of abuse by the fans `if this can make the fans feel better.'
He was commenting on the RM3,000 fine which the FA had to pay after being found guilty by the FA of Malaysia's disciplinary board on Thursday.
The DB had found Penang guilty for the unruly behaviour of their fans in the match against Terengganu on May 1. Current League leaders Terengganu won the match 1-0.
Mohd Junid said the RM3,000 fine was a burden to the FA's coffers.
But then, the passionate Penang's fans have been known to have the tendency of being unruly for years.
In the past, it was common to see them turn violent against the referees, linesmen, visiting teams and even the home team at the island's ageing City Stadium.
Having scores of Federal Reserve Unit personnel manning the stadium's main gate at the end of each match was also a common sight.
Needless to say, Penang FA have been at the mercy of their fans for years.
"We need every sen that we collect from home matches to spend on the team.
"And now we have to fork out RM3,000 to pay for the fine through no fault of the association. We appeal to the fans to stop throwing missiles.
"Support the team by cheering and giving moral as well as financial support."
Engaging in unruly behaviour will only make things worse.
"We will step up security and ensure that bottled drinks will not be taken into Batu Kawan stadium," he said.
(c) 2001 New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad.

11May2001 BANGLADESH: Sub-standard food items on sale, THE INDEPENDENT.

Sub-standard food items are being prepared and sold in most of the restaurants of the district town and the uapzila towns of the district.
It is gathered that the rules of general health and hygiene are not being maintained by the owners of the restaurants. As a result people taking their meals in these restaurants are suffering from various intestinal diseases. A large number of restaurants have sprung up in different parts of the district, including the district town, in recent times. But most of the restaurants are without license.
The owners of these restaurants use low quality items for preparation of various food and serve the same to the customers. According to sources, dishes and glasses of the restaurants are not cleaned properly.
Most of these restaurants use river, pond and direct supply water from roadside which is full of germs of different water borne diseases.
It is alleged that food items are displayed and prepared openly exposing these to dusts and flies. People who take food from the local restaurants said, rotten fishes and low quality meats are being cooked for sale by mixing flour and soda. Dr. Iqbal, a general physician of the town, disclosed that about 80 per cent of the people who take food from these restaurants are suffering from various intestinal diseases.
Town-dwellers said, the Pourasabha authorities are also ignoring the problem. Recently some small restaurants have sprung up around bus terminal area, New Market area, Baro Bazar and Mangalbaria where adulterated food items are being sold at random. Stringent measures should be taken against the owners of such restaurants in the greater interest of public health.

Copyright 2001 THE INDEPENDENT all rights reserved as distributed by WorldSources, Inc.

10May2001 MALAYSIA: Cheaper food, non-alcoholic drinks and tobacco products for pub patrons.

Pub patrons can enjoy cheaper food, non-alcoholic beverages and tobacco products when the Service Tax (Amendment) Act 2001 comes into effect on Tuesday.
Winding up the debate on the bill, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy said the 5% service tax on such items will be exempted from that day.
However, the tax still applies for alcoholic beverages.
Later, he told reporters at the parliament lobby the new ruling will apply only to "public houses Classes II and III, and beer houses Class II".
Chan explained that these houses are outlets licensed to sell liquor for use inside the premises.
Class II houses operate from 10am to 10pm, and Class III houses from 10am to 9pm.
"Normally these houses are small coffeeshops in rural areas," he said.

rs of the trouble," he said.
Similarly, food, non-alcohol drinks and tobacco products sold in restaurants licensed to sell liquor will also be exempted from the service tax.
However, it does not apply to restaurants with an annual turnover of RM500,000.
According to Chan, the tax will still be imposed on Public Houses Class I and Beer Houses Class I, which are outlets operating from 10am to 12 midnight and are normally located in the city.
(c) 2001 Sun Media Group Sdn Bhd.

09May2001 THAILAND: BEVERAGES - Soymilk exports pushed.

Green Spot seeks to establish brand Sukanya Jitpleecheep Green Spot (Thailand) Co, the bottler of Green Spot and Vitamilk, will step up exports this year in an attempt to establish the brand abroad.
The company introduced its new strategy after meeting the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) international hygiene standard.
"Consumers around the world recognise HACCP," said Thammasak Jittimaporn, general manager for sales and marketing of Green Spot (Thailand).
The company, owned largely by Chote Sophonpanich of Bangkok Bank, wants to make Vitamilk a synonym for soy-related products worldwide.
Last year, Green Spot began exporting Vitamilk To Go and 250-millilitre UHT products to the United States, Japan, Laos and Cambodia. The packaging of the exported products will be improved to provide more information, including a nutrition table, in several languages.
This year, the company will focus on expanding Vitamilk sales in the United States, which is its fastest growing market. Soymilk consumption in the United States is growing by 100-150% a year. As well, the price of soymilk in the US is 20-25% higher than for cow's milk, unlike in Thailand where soymilk is cheaper.
The company will improve its distribution network in the United States while looking for a partner to distribute its products in Europe and expanding exports to Asia, the largest market for soymilk.
Although the Asian market had little room for growth, there was huge potential if the company's products could replace soymilk sold through traditional outlets such as vendors' carts, Mr Thammasak said. Exports would likely contribute 5% of the company's total sales revenue over the next three years.
As well, the company will resume dormant promotion of Green Spot soft drinks abroad.
Talks had been held with the trademark owner in the US about exporting the products in some Asian countries this year, he said. Canned orange-flavoured drinks have been shipped to Hong Kong.
The company will continue to focus on the domestic market for soymilk, as demand had grown faster than for soft drinks and cow's milk. Soymilk consumption in Thailand jumped by 25% in the first two months of this year.
However, the company expected sales revenue from Green Spot and Vitamilk to grow only 3% this year because of the sluggish economy.

Sources: BANGKOK POST 09/05/2001 P2

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