When travelling through Thailand last month I once again learned how privileged I am to be part of the poultry community. Although retired, my interest in the business has not changed. The visit to VIV Asia was special. I got the chance to say hello to many good old friends and talk with them about developments in the industry.
Freed from Editor’s stress I had time to extend my stay in the country to enjoy more of its nature and culture. I was used to going to a country, focussing on my reports and interviews, and then flying back home. This time, however, I did not have to be back at a specified time to meet deadlines. I could afford to stay, together with my wife, a little longer and see more of the country.
It goes without saying that Thailand is a beautiful country with a special culture and a very friendly population. Not that long ago the Thai poultry industry launched to promotional slogan: “Thailand, the kitchen of the World”. This came to mind several times during my travels there. Every time we went for lunch or dinner we had to go through the menu to choose a delicious meal out of a long list of options. Poultry meat was often mentioned, and I must say often chosen as well. My wife and I favoured the chicken with cashew nuts and the sweet and sour chicken. On the top of the list, however, has got to be the chicken in banana leafs served at the typical Thai Suda restaurant at Sukumvit Soi 14 in Bangkok. This simple side dish reminds me the most of how chicken meat should taste.
Thailand has a lot to offer when it comes to using poultry meat for food. The huge variety of consumer products shows that almost everything of the bird can be used to make a delicious meal. Nothing is wasted. The western world can learn from that and should focus on for this in the future. In that sense, the poultry industry could take a lead in developing a business that can produce without wasting valuable by-products or polluting the environment. How wonderful would it be if we could say that we are an industry that contributes in every sense to a sustainable business, by making use of and adding value to everything that comes from production and processing poultry?!
Thailand is not only an important poultry meat producer, but is also the home of many poultry species. Everywhere you travel you’ll notice backyard chickens and chickens kept for cockfighting. Many of them are beauties and play an important role in the daily life of the people. The largest number of these exotic birds I discovered near the most northern city Chang Rai. Hundreds of them were posted in front of a pagoda for people who are born in the year of the Rooster. Being a Rooster myself the temple attracted my attention and I had to go there. I do hope that many people pray there to have a good life for themselves and the rooster as well, by which the latter may help to bring us good luck, health and tasty poultry meat and egg dishes.