Small-scale farmers’ assessment of constraints and benefits from getting involved in various organic certification schemes for the domestic market in Thailand

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Kassirin Phiboon
Nicolas Faysse


The organic certification schemes, which propose links between small-scale farmers and domestic markets in developing and emerging countries, are increasingly diverse. The study compared small-scale farmers’ assessment of the constraints and benefits from getting involved in various organic certification schemes in Thailand. Three of these schemes were based on third-party certification and were managed by a public institute, an accredited non-governmental organisation, and a non-accredited one. The other schemes were participatory guarantee systems.  One hundred farmers were interviewed. The farmers expressed a general similar assessment of the four types of schemes, in terms of the difficulties of obtaining certification. A key reason was that the scheme that had the most strict requirements was also the one providing the strongest support. The schemes mainly differed in terms of marketing opportunities. However, the organisations, which provided support to farmers wishing to obtain certification, generally recommended a particular scheme. Farmers had limited autonomy in initiating a certification process by themselves.  Farmers’ capacities may be built so that they become more autonomous in choosing the certification schemes that best suit their objectives.

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