Yara (Thailand), the world’s leading crop nutrition and fertilizer company from Norway, launched "Yara 115th Anniversary – Farmer Strong” campaign to celebrate its 115 years in business with unwavering commitment to the mission of protecting and revitalizing the global agriculture and food security. The campaign reiterated the company’s enhanced efforts to support Thai farmers, along with empowering dealers and distributors and safeguarding job security of all employees on the way forward to drive a strong and sustainable economic recovery in light of enormous challenges and difficulties caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
Mr. Mehdi Saint-Andre, Managing Director, Yara (Thailand) Co., Ltd. and Vice President Thailand & Myanmar revealed that “As we celebrate 115 years of the journey in supporting global food production for the world’s population, amidst the unforeseen COVID-19 crisis and increasingly threatening impacts of climate change, we have become even more aware of the importance of the agriculture sector. Yara takes this opportunity to celebrate the value of farmers who make our everyday life possible and the world survive, by building upon and deepen our commitment to help the agriculture sector move forward to a strong and sustainable future with long-standing knowledge and farming solutions which are Yara’s unique position. At the same time, we also leverage our robust business fundamentals to support our business partners and dealers to keep their business strong, and make every effort to ensure security
The path to becoming the world’s leader in crop nutrition takes root in 1905, when Yara founder Kristian Birkeland discovered how to extract nitrogen from the atmosphere, which is one of the most important intellectual breakthroughs in the history of mankind. Since then, believing that “Knowledge Grows”, Yara has continued to ride on its core value in leveraging knowledge to innovate crop nutrition solutions through Farmer Centricity approach by studying and deeply understanding the specific needs and behavior of farmers. For farmers, Yara not only stands for high quality fertilizer and plant nutrition products, but a provider of resourceful knowledge in agriculture through diversified nutrient programs developed based on different specific farming needs. With a constant expansion throughout over one century, Yara’s business empire now operates in more than 60 countries in 6 continents, with over 25 factories across the world. The unique identity of Yara has been proven and highly acclaimed across the globe with several international accolades, such as being the only company in Thailand to be certified by the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and was honored as one of the Top 10 companies in Fortune’s Change the World list in 2008.
“Yara has been alongside Thai agriculture sector for almost 50 years now, with our sales and retail office initially established in Thailand in 1972. Actually the beginning of Yara fertilizer in Thai society went all the way back to 1907 in Norway, where the Yara fertilizer factory in Notodden had the honor of welcoming His Majesty King Rama V who visited the factory and bought 1 ton of YaraLeva fertilizer to use in Thailand. YaraLeva is still one of our most popular products in the global market until today,” added Mehdi.
“Thailand has long been one of the largest fertilizer markets for Yara, as one of the top 5 in the global level and the number one in Asia-Pacific region. This year, we will continue to focus on the 5 major economic crops that we hold the largest market share in Thailand - rubber, oil palm, durian, longan and leafy vegetables. And similar to previous years, we continue to organize field activities all year round, such as the farmers meeting, field day, crop clinic, and dispatch a team of plant technical experts to visit farmers. We also plan to launch several new products in 2020. Firstly, we aim to expand to maize market with YaraMila 23-8-8, a compound fertilizer of premium quality at an accessible price for smallholder farmers. The product is also suitable for sugarcane. Secondly, we are looking into growing our presence in rice farming sector with YaraVita Khao, a micronutrient fertilizer developed specifically to target the leaf uniquely positioned as the only crop nutrition product in the market that combines micronutrients and wetting agent in one. In August, we will also introduce a new product line, YaraRega, which is a water soluble compound fertilizer suitable for a range of fertigation systems, an ideal solution for dry season when farmers need to optimize water use, targeting greenhouse farming which is a fast-growing premium farming sector in Thailand. For new investments, we plan to spend at least 2 million US$ (63 million baht) to expand the capacity of our business and factory in Thailand,” said Mehdi.
According to Ms. Pancharlie Vannaplerk Marketing and Communication Manager, Yara (Thailand) Co., Ltd., “Our marketing communication is gearing toward creating differentiation through “purposeful branding” approach, with focus on building positive consumer attitude toward brand rather than simply selling products. This strategy sets Yara apart from competition as the pioneer of unique communication phenomenon in Thai fertilizer market, which is typically centered around product attributes. Under difficult circumstances faced by Thai farmers throughout this year which marks Yara’s 115th anniversary in business and 48 years of operation in Thailand, we purposely celebrate this remarkable milestone by standing beside Thai agriculture sector and support farmers to overcome these tremendous challenges. Our “Yara 115th Anniversary – Farmer Strong” campaign comprises a range of year-round activities, as follows:
- Implement music marketing strategy by composing a song and music video titled “The Fighter Farmer”, performed by Pongsit "Pu" Kampee, a popular singer of inspirational songs, and Sunaree Ratchasrima, the Queen of Thai Country Songs, both long-time favorite artists among Thai farmers and people. The lyrics of the song celebrate farmers and encourage them not to give up while creating awareness and impression on Yara brand. The music video is broadcast and promoted on TV channels, radio stations, agriculture magazines as well as online channel to reach new generation of farmers and the general public.
- Organize activities to alleviate the burden of farmers affected by oversupply of crops due to the COVID-19 crisis, including donation of fertilizer to mango farmers in June, and launch of online marketing channel under "Safe #FighterFarmers" campaign for farmers to sell their produce through Yara Thailand Facebook fan page.ntroduce activities to create brand engagement and support music marketing that are relevant to the lifestyle of Thai farmers, like a singing contest for farmers in “Sing for a Million” program on Thairath TV channel where the audience can vote for the winner on Yara Thailand Facebook fan page throughout July 2020.
- Issue special support measure to help rubber farmers, who are currently suffering from the decline of rubber market price which falls to the lowest ever in the past several years, by cutting down the price of YaraMila Advance 21-7-14, the top-of-mind premium fertilizer for rubber farmers, to ease their cost burden.
Looking forward in the Thai market under the unforeseen challenges of 2020, Yara strives to introduce digital farming technology and diversified agricultural solutions to help farmers gain access to information and knowledge on crop nutrition and agriculture from Yara, as well as collaboration with dtac to develop application for distributors to enhance their efficiency in doing business with Yara as well as manage loyalty program where dealers can earn points on purchase and redeem these points for discount.
“We believe that the activities under our celebration campaign will be a way to provide tangible support for Thai agriculture sector to regain strength and overcome the difficult situation, which will eventually bring the Thai economy back on track as quickly as possible,” concluded Mehdi.