Charoen Pokphand

Charoen Pokphand Group is a Thai conglomerate with business activities in seed, retail, telecommunication and media, e-commerce and digital, property development, plastics, automotive, finance and insurance, and pharmaceuticals. The vegetable seed subsidiary, Chia Tai, in business since 1921, is the group’s founding company and is active in seed and agrochemical inputs. Chia Tai also provides equipment and technology to Thai farmers and supplies fresh fruits and vegetables to leading supermarkets, among other activities. Main field crop seed subsidiaries are Charoen Pokphand Produce (maize) and Charoen Pokphand Seed (rice).

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South and Southeast Asia

Summary of results:

Ranking 17th out of 24 index companies, Charoen Pokphand’s position can be attributed to its performance in Governance & Strategy, Capacity Building and Seed Production. The company scores high for its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and accountability around its policies and targets related to access to seeds for smallholder farmers. The company’s broad geographic presence, its Responsible Sourcing strategy for responsible supply chain management, development of local varieties suited to the needs of smallholder farmers and well-defined extension services are also notable. No information was found or provided to assess Charoen Pokphand’s activities in Genetic Resources and Intellectual Property. The company is encouraged to improve its transparency about its seed activities.

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Operations in Scope
  • Countries in Scope
  • Company Presence
  • Production Locations
  • Breeding Station/R&D
Index Crops in Portfolio
Sales Seed type
bgd khm ind idn lao mmr npl pak PHL lka tha vnm Hybrid OPV GM
Field crops
Rice, paddy
Pepper (hot)
Local Crops in Portfolio
  • Kangkong
  • Yardlong bean
Leading Practices

    Charoen Pokphand’s sustainability report demonstrates group commitments to sustainable business, sustainable environment and sustainable society including for its seed business, which relate to specific SDGs. Further, the responsibility for its SDG commitments is assigned at CEO/board level.

Areas for Improvement

    Charoen Pokphand publicly discloses a limited amount of information about its seed business. The company could publicly disclose more information on smallholder farmers’ role in its seed business activities, and its position regarding genetic resources and intellectual property rights.

Notable Findings

    The company is involved in the development of improved varieties of local crops such as kangkong and yardlong bean, which are suitable for smallholder farmers in index countries.

    The company carries out collaborative research in the region, and in 2017, together with the National Science and Technology Development Agency, it launched a new method to detect bacterial contamination (stop-rotten disease) in melon seeds, reducing the cost of cultivation by 50%. In addition, the company trains its plant breeders by providing on-the-job training.

    The company has a professional team that provides farmers with support and information on best practices using the latest GPS technology for geographical analysis of the cultivated area.

    The company is committed to collaborating with business partners on responsible supply chain management. This is evidenced by its Responsible Sourcing policy, which addresses child labor, forced labor, occupational health and safety and minimum wages, among others, although it is not clear to what extent the policy is applied within its seed production activities.

    The company has various marketing campaigns, programs and social projects such as the CP888 Fan Club, named after its most sold maize variety. It also reports having a special program to educate next-generation farmers.

    The company’s 2016 sustainability report indicates that as part of its corporate strategy, the company is committed to increasing both the productivity and sustainability of smallholder farmers. This is demonstrated in its maize program, which has trained 4,311 farmers on best growing practices to increase yields and reduce costs.

    According to the company’s 2016 sustainability report, farmers were provided with agricultural planning data to mitigate risks. With the help of a system called Crop Watch, rice-growing conditions were evaluated with the help of satellite images and farmers were provided with information on price estimates based on yield forecasts.