Chawalakitkaset in Chiang Rai - Thailand
As a distributor of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, seeds, and both dry and fluid fertilizer, Chawalitkitkaset Co. is truly a one-stop shop for its agriculture customers. Carrying so many products that could potentially be misused, however, requires that the company go above and beyond normal business practices to make sure that their customers, employees and the surrounding environment stay safe.
The warehouse design allows good ventilation, and racks protect against moisture. The warehouse is separate from the showroom and main office, while separate warehouses for fertilizer and pesticides prevent contamination. A drum of sawdust with a shovel is nearby in case of chemical spillage, and emergency wash facilities, such as hand wash, shower, and eye wash are available for emergency cases of pesticide irritation. Hard hats, protective goggles, and rubber gloves are provided, as well as a sand bag to prevent contaminated water from emergencies from leaking to the public.
Facility security is a major concern for distributors of chemicals — which can be used to manufacture drugs like methamphetamines — and fertilizer, which can be used to make explosives. Chawalitkitkaset has installed closed-circuit TV security monitors around the warehouse, showroom, and main office to monitor activity, with an after-hours security guard posted to prevent theft. All documents are filed and securely locked, and emergency numbers are clearly posted.
In addition to securing the facility, Chawalitkitkaset ensures that the products it sells are of the highest quality and will not be harmful to the environment. Owner and Managing Director Chawalit Sudhamwong only does business with companies with high manufacturing standards to ensure the products are produced under good manufacturing practice process, such as multinational companies. Chawalit does not carry substandard product in his shop, nor illegal or unknown products from sources that have not complied with local pesticide regulations.
Concerned about environmental deterioration, Chawalitkitkaset is situated to minimize the risk area, far from downtown or populous communities. Since 2003, the distributor has collaborated with DuPont (Thailand) Limited to organize a bottle return program and has convinced the Thailand Tobacco membership to join this program by collecting empty laminate bottles. The bottle return program has progressed continuously every year.
Realizing that most farmers have not been well-educated about agrochemical products, Chawalit cooperated with agricultural companies to set up product training for his staff and sends them out to provide information about good agricultural practices and how to use pesticides safely for the farmer and his community. Chawalit also sells — and advises on the proper use of — personal protective equipment (PPE). He encourages the grower to use the proper PPE and always gives complimentary protective goggles and gloves with each purchase.
Chawalit is currently vice president of Chiangrai Thai Chamber of Commerce, agriculture section. He and all members of the chamber have the responsibility of seeking new challenges for palm planting in Chiang Rai Province to reduce cost and increase production.