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Tops and Central Food Hall launched the highest food product standard, Quality at Heart

Central Food Retail Company Limited, the operator of Tops and Central Food Hall, leading supermarkets under Central Retail, has announced Quality at Heart, a new extension of food safety standard policy. It is a commitment to consumers in an age of new lifestyles and is a symbol of upgrading food product standards to the highest level. Every stage of production is meticulously traced, adhering to the five core policies of caring for you, caring for selection, caring for sustainability, guaranteeing clean and safe product which is friendly to the environment, and excellent quality to international standards. It underlines the confidence that consumers will receive the best quality seasonal produce with a delicious taste and a reasonable price. It is also a pilot to support the Thai agricultural sector to enhance its long-term potential to compete internationally. Commercial Thai fruit has been launched with the Quality at Heart standard, MonThong durian from Chumphon and Mango Namdokmai from Ratchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan, which are the best quality sources during the fruit season

Somnuk Yoddumnern, Head of Farmer's Quality Line, Local and Sourcing at Central Food Retail Company Limited under Central Retail said that “Quality at Heart” is the highest possible food product standard and an upgrade of food safety standards. A Sustainable Food Development team has been appointed which is knowledgeable and expert. The team has experience in developing product standards and has jointly developed the quality of domestic agricultural produce to cover every process, from environmentally-friendly planting to care, harvesting, quality checks, packing and transportation to deliver product with the best possible quality at an appropriate price for consumers. It is also creating good things to promote products which are socially responsible.

The highest grade of product, Quality at Heart, involves thorough inspection at all stages of production throughout the supply chain. This is for confidence in the quality of the product with traceability which comprises five key aspects: 1. Food safety: systems to control food safety enabling traceability from farm to fork, 2. Food quality: Guaranteeing freshness, flavor and high quality from the best possible sources, 3. Developing for sustainability: Improving quality of life and a good standard of living for farmers by developing farmers and communities in the country. This supports small producers with attention to the work environment and labor costs under ethical business principles. 4. Conserving the environment: Supporting environmentally friendly production, systematic disposal of waste, using a backhaul transportation system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and 5. Reasonable prices: Selecting seasonal produce with the best quality to sell at an appropriate price.

“There is currently a pilot project to launch two commercial Thai fruit which have passed the highest quality grade, Quality at Heart. They are Mon Thong durian from Chumphon, which have been specially selected, with the adding value of attractive packaging, of one box per fruit. Full fleshiness is guaranteed, and quality is carefully controlled with post-harvest processes and technology. Special scientific techniques are employed to calculate and control the selection of ripeness, and to calculate the dry weight of durian flesh at a level of 35% upward, to obtain durian with a sweet delicious taste. The other fruit is Mango Namdokmai from Ratchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan which are sold in special set boxes and by the kilogram. Ripeness is guaranteed and post-harvest technology controls the production process correctly to enable determination of the date of consumption, obtaining the best quality mangoes with the best taste for customers.”

For the farmers, Rachen Sukwanarom, President of the Community Enterprise of Mango Producers for Export of Bang Phae, Ratchaburi, spoke about tending produce to obtain the standard. “Our orchard grows quality mangoes, after Tops came to assist us and gave advice on growing our produce to obtain the highest standard, Quality at Heart. What differs from before, is modern advice and knowledge. A QR code is attached to each mango, enabling consumers to trace the mango to the plot it was grown on, and even its packing house. It also gives confidence to customers about what day they should eat the mango when it is most delicious, as each mango has a sticker clearly showing the eating date.”

Somnuk Yoddumnern concluded, “In our next plan, the company will continue to give priority to selecting fruit with distinctive taste, which is at the standard for the highest consumer satisfaction. We will also create awareness for the product standard to be better known and accepted, by extending the Quality at Heart standard to other vegetables and fruit, and many other fresh product lines. It is promoting growers to adapt to new consumer lifestyles, in which consumers seek out quality as their first priority to look after their health. It will be getting farmers to emphasize quality over quantity. This is because prioritizing quality enables farmers to sell their produce at a better price, while promoting the potential of Thai farmers to better compete at the international level.”