Synergy chooses Thailand for its first Asian base

Synergy chooses Thailand for its first Asian base

As Asian economies continue to be resilient to European financial woes, British firm Synergy, a manufacturer and supplier of flavour-enhancing ingredients, is setting up a new factory in Samut Prakan province.

Geoff Allen, managing director of Synergy Flavours (Thailand), said the company’s decision to establish its first facility in Asia comes from Thailand’s advantages in terms of strategic location, vast raw materials and good basic infrastructure.

“Thailand imports over 80% of its food flavourings and is the fifth-biggest food exporter in the world, so it makes sense that Thailand is an ideal location to build the company’s presence in Asia,” he said.

The ability to export easily to Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam also influenced Synergy’s decision to set up its Asian facility, said Mr Allen, adding that the availability of raw materials in Thailand is a huge benefit.

The Board of Investment has set no limit for foreign ownership in Synergy’s business, raising the appeal of setting up in Thailand, he said.

The new facility on Bang Plee Industrial Estate is set to begin operations at the end of next month after the Food and Drug Administration gives the nod.

Synergy entered the region in 2009. It supplies food and beverage producers with liquid flavourings, spray-dried flavourings, yeast extracts and dairy ingredients, which contribute to fat and cost reductions while maintaining good flavours.

Mr Allen said the 2011 floods persuaded the company to develop its facility in Samut Prakan rather than flood-prone Ayutthaya.

“The location of Bang Plee is ideal for water drainage and the factory is built on concrete with elevated floors, so hopefully we won’t have any problem with flooding,” he said.

Regarding the upcoming Asean Economic Community, Mr Allen said the company is focusing on expanding into Indonesia and the Philippines, two of the biggest emerging markets in the region, in the short term.

In the long run, the company might look into penetrating the market in Myanmar, but it will take at least five years for the country to develop to meet the company’s standards, he said.

Mr Allen hinted that Synergy plans to invest actively in Asia as sales volume grows, with a possibility of setting up another facility in Southeast Asia.

Synergy is owned by Carbery, which is owned by leading Irish dairy cooperatives.