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The Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) (Thai: เจริญโภคภัณฑ์; rtgs: Charoen Phokkhaphan) is a Thai conglomerate company located in Bangkok. It is Thailand's largest private company and is one of world's largest conglomerates. It consists of three core businesses that operate in agribusiness and food, retail and distribution, and the telecommunications industries with investments in over 20 countries. Founded in 1921, the CP Group currently employs, through its subsidiaries, over 500,000 people with offices and factories worldwide.
It is the largest shareholder in Ping An Insurance and a major shareholder in CITIC Group of China and Itochu of Japan. In addition to these core businesses, C.P. owns controlling stakes in Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF), the world's largest producer of feed, shrimp, and a global top 3 producer of poultry, pork, among other agricultural produces. It also operates South East Asia's largest retail business by revenue, with over 8,000 Seven Eleven stores and a leading cash and carry business through Siam Makro. In the telecommunications sector, CP Group subsidiary, True Group, is one of the largest telecom firms in South East Asia with over 25 million mobile customers.
With some 200 subsidiaries in China, CP Group is known in China as "Chia Tai" (正大). When China opened up its economy in 1978, CP Group was the very first foreign investor in the country and became the first foreign company registered in the special economic zone of Shenzhen, in Guangdong Province. The corporate registration number was "0001." Through its extensive investments, CP Group has been credited with changing the country's dietary habits and leading China's green revolution.
- 1 History
- 2 Subsidiaries
- 3 Slavery allegations
- 4 Shrimp feed supply chain traceability and audit
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Charoen Pokphand traces its beginnings back to 1921, when the Chinese immigrant brothers Chia Ek Chor (谢易初) and Chia Siew Whooy (谢少飞) started a seed store named Chia Tai Chueng in Bangkok's Chinatown during the reign of King Rama VI. They imported seeds and vegetables from China and exported pigs and eggs to Hong Kong.
The company increased its scope from selling vegetable seeds under the trademark of "Rua Bin" (Aero plane) to production of animal feed under Ek Chor’s two elder sons, Jaran Chiaravanont and Montri Jiaravanont. The company further integrated its business to include livestock farming, marketing and distribution, under Dhanin Chearavanont. By the 1970s, the company had a virtual monopoly on the supply of chicken and eggs in Thailand.
The company was famous for vertical integration expanding into several business lines, adding breeding farms, slaughterhouses, processed foods production, and, later, its own chain of restaurants. CP had also gone international, launching feedmill operations in Indonesia in 1972, exporting chickens to Japan in 1973, then moving into Singapore in 1976.
In the 1980s, as China opened up to foreign firms, the firm became the preferred partner for international brands such as Honda, Wal Mart, and Tesco. CP's family ties with the mainland enabled it to become the first foreign company to establish itself in the newly created Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, where the company set up its Chia Tai Co. (Chinese: 正大集团; pinyin: Zhèngdà Jítuán) subsidiary. By the early 1990s, CP had launched some 200 subsidiaries in China. CP's massive investment in poultry production on the mainland was credited with changing the country's dietary habits, as per-capita consumption more than doubled by the end of the decade.
In 1989, CP joined with Solvay of Belgium to launch Vinythai Co., a manufacturer of polyvinylchloride. The following year, the company formed a partnership with the U.S. telecommunications firm of NYNEX to launch TelecomAsia (TA) and began construction of its own fiber-optic telephone network.
Starting in 1993, many subsidiaries went public. TA, Charoen Pokphand Feedmill, Siam Makro and Vinythai were listed publicly at the Stock Exchange of Thailand, as well as its Hong Kong subsidiary, CP Pokphand to the Hong Kong exchange, a Shanghai-based animal feed and poultry group to the Shanghai exchange, a real estate development arm, Hong Kong Fortune, to the Hong Kong exchange, and Ek Chor China Motorcycle to the New York exchange. Having been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 1981, C.P. Lotus - a major retail arm of C.P. Group in China - opened its first store in Shanghai in 1997.
After the Asian financial crisis in 1997, C.P. consolidated into three business lines under its main “brand names”: foods (C.P. Foods), retail (7-Eleven), and telecommunications (True). The company sold its stakes in the Tesco Lotus venture with Tesco in 2003 due to its crisis policy in order to focus on 7-Eleven, in which, unlike Tesco, CP owns a majority, as its flagship retail arm.
In 2013, Charoen Pokphand has got the clearance to buy HSBC's stake of Chinese Ping An Insurance. On May 10, 2013, in spite of a lack of loan from the China Development Bank, HSBC said "it was selling the 15.6 per cent stake at HK$59 a share" to Charoen Pokphand Group.
In 2014, CP announced a tie-up with the Japanese general trading company Itochu under which CP acquired 4.9 percent of Itochu's listed stock for about US$1 billion, and Itochu in turn acquired a 25 percent stake in a Hong Kong-listed CP group company, CP Pokphand Co., for about US$854 million. This transaction made CP the third-largest shareholder in Itochu, and was marketed as an alliance between the two conglomerates with a focus on developing international food trading opportunities. In 2015, CP and Itochu announced that they would jointly take a US$10.4 billion stake in China's CITIC Limited, forming a trilateral alliance with Itochu and CP each holding 10 percent of CITIC's stock, one of the largest foreign investments in a Chinese state-owned company.
Charoen Pokphand Foods
Known as Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc., (CPF). It was established in 1978 with operations in animal feed production, livestock breeding, further processing and trade. Currently, CPF invests overseas in nine countries, has subsidiaries in 17 countries and exports to over 40 countries. Furthermore, CPF is today the leading producer of feed and one of the largest producers of poultry in the world. Charoen Pokphand Foods is listed in the Stock Exchange of Thailand under the code: CPF.
C.P. Foods has a revenue of approximately US$14 billion (2012), with a market capitalization of over US$8 billion (2012)
CP ALL Public Company Limited is the flagship company of the Charoen Pokphand Group’s marketing and distribution business. It is the Thai licensee of 7-Eleven since 1989 and operates 6,479 convenience stores under that trademark in Thailand. This is the third largest number of stores after the United States and Japan.
CP All completed FY 2012 with approximately US$12 billion in revenue, and currently has a market capitalization of over US$13 billion (2013).
CP All Plc. is the sole operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Thailand. The first 7-Eleven outlet was opened in 1989 on Patpong Road in Bangkok. At the end of 2014, the company had a total of 8,127 stores nationwide. Of the total, 3,648 stores are in Bangkok and environs (45 percent) and 4,479 stores are in provincial areas (55 percent). There are 3,570 corporate-owned stores (44 percent), 3,916 franchise stores (48 percent), and 641 sub-area license stores (eight percent). An average of 9.7 million customers visit 7-Eleven stores each day. In 2014, the company expanded another 698 new stores both as stand-alone stores and stores at PTT gas stations. At the end of 2014, the company had 6,986 stand-alone stores (86 percent) and 1,141 stores in PTT gas stations (14 percent). The company has plans to open approximately 600 new stores annually, with the goal of 10,000 stores in 2018.
The Telecommunications Business Group was established during the late 1980s. Known as True Corporation Plc, True offers a ‘convergence’ of voice, video and data services across its integrated communications platform. Based in Bangkok, True currently services more than 23 million subscribers to its various services, which includes Thailand’s third-largest mobile operator (True Move), the country’s largest broadband and dial-up internet provider, largest fixed-line phone operator in Bangkok Metropolitan Area, electronic cash and payment services, personal communication telephone, data services, VoIP services, online portals, online games and is the only nationwide cable-TV provider (True Visions). True Corporation is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand under the code: TRUE
True Corporation generated approximately US$3.1 billion in revenue in 2012, it has a market capitalization of about US$4.3 billion (2013). It is spinning off its infrastructure operations into a new telecommunications fund set to IPO at about US$1.8 billion, putting the group's total value at about US$5 billion 
Founded in 2014 as a spin-off of True Corporation, Ascend Group handles the e-commerce, online retail, logistics and fulfillment component of CP Group. It marked its $150-million expansion by launching their affiliates in the Philippines and Indonesia, Vietnam, and also hard to reach economies like Myanmar and Cambodia. Ventures are classified under major subsidiaries: Ascend Commerce, Ascend Money and Ascend Capital, along with smaller independent ventures like TrueIDC and Egg Digital.
True Growth Infrastructure Fund
True GIF is a US$2 billion fund set up to manage True's extensive telecommunication assets including Thailand's largest fibre optic network and largest 3G & 4G cell networks. It became Thailand's second largest IPO ever in late 2013. True Corp is True GIF's largest shareholder.
CP Lotus Corporation is a retail operation in China.
C.P. Pokphand Co. Ltd
Listed in Hong Kong, CPP is one of the world's largest producers of feed and one of China's leading agricultural companies with factories nationwide.
C.P. Fresh Mart
A Thai-based chain selling frozen foods and finished products, now with over 700 branches.
One of China's leading motorcycle producers, recently signed a joint venture to begin production of cars in Thailand. Its motorcycles are exported to Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Held through C.P. All, Siam Makro is Thailand's largest cash and carry store. C.P. All purchased Siam Makro for US$6.6 billion in 2013.
C.P. Land manages several Bangkok properties including C.P. Tower 1 & 2. It is listed through C.P. Land Infrastructure Fund and has a market capitalization of over US$300 million.
After a several-month-long investigation, the British newspaper The Guardian claimed that Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods purchases fishmeal, which it then feeds to its farmed prawns, from suppliers that own, operate or buy from fishing boats manned with slaves. The Guardian claimed that after the slaves are bought for roughly US$250, the working conditions on those boats include forced labour with 20-hour work days, forced drug use, starvation and executions.
In January 2017, the United States District Court, Northern District of California ruled on multiple grounds in favour of CP Foods in relation to litigation brought against them and others, which claimed damages related to the alleged presence of human rights abuses in the supply chain for Thai shrimp. The Court’s order - dismissal with prejudice - bars the plaintiffs from bringing such claims again.
Shrimp feed supply chain traceability and audit
CP Foods produces and sells farmed shrimp. It does not own or operate any fishing vessels. The company has worked to improve the traceability of the fishmeal element of its supply chain since 2012, and broadened this effort to encompass a full traceability system for its farmed shrimp supply chain in 2014. As part of that process, CP Foods has reduced the number of suppliers who provide fishmeal for the production of shrimp feed.
CP Foods has undertaken a full independent, third-party audit of its shrimp feed supply chain (all the way back to the individual fishing boats catching fish for fishmeal production), conducted by a leading international supply chain audit company. Approved by-product fishmeal in shrimp feed is certified "IFFO RS CoC", the highest international benchmark for sustainable fishmeal.
Shrimp Sustainable Supply Chain Task Force
CP Foods is a founding member of the Shrimp Sustainable Supply Chain Task Force (SSSC), established in July 2014, which has convened food producers, international retailers, and NGOs to map out a holistic improvement and audit plan for the Thai shrimp industry, and to identify and agree the steps and timetable to increase the sustainability and transparency of the supply chain. The key aim of CP Foods and the SSSC is to ensure that abuse of workers and damage to the maritime ecosystem in the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea is a thing of the past, and to restore trust in the industry.
- "CP Worldwide".
- "International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.62: Charoen Pokphand Group". St. James Press. 2004. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
- Phongpaichit, Phasuk; Chris Baker (1998). Thailands Boom and Bust. Thailand: Silkworm Books. ISBN 974-7100-57-6.
- "Vinythai Company Profile". solvayplastics.com. 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
- "Milestones | CP Lotus Corporate Website". www.cplotuscorp.com. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
- "Thai tycoons go for it in multi-billion deals". Investvine.com. 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
- Chen Xiaoyi (January 8, 2013). "China Development Bank stops loan to Charoen Pokphand to buy Ping An". Morning Whistle. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
- Yam, Shirley (9 February 2013). "Still too much murkiness around the details of the Ping An deal". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
- "Ping An rises on HSBC stake sale to Charoen Pokphand". Bloomberg Honk Kong. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
- Iwata, Mari (24 July 2014). "Food Sets the Table for Asian Alliance". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- Carew, Rick (20 January 2015). "Itochu, CP in Deal to Take $10.4 Billion Stake in Citic". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- About 7-Eleven, 7-Eleven. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
- "About CP All". CP All. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
- , Bloomberg. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Ascend Group".
- Lotus Supercenter
- "Company Overview". C.P.Pokphand Co., Ltd. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "Agro-Industry & Food". Charoen Pokphand Group. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "Automotive". Charoen Pokphand Group. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- Revealed - Asian slave labour producing prawns for supermarkets in US, UK. The Guardian online from June 10, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "IFFO RS History". IFFO. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Shrimp Sustainable Supply Chain Task Force; Overview and Progress Update, May 2015" (PDF). Undercurrent News. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- Corporate website
- International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.62: Charoen Pokphand Group, St. James Press, 2004