Innovating Alternative Markets – 7-12 May, 2013 at Bangkok

“Greening” the organic grassroots – Small-scale farmers’ movements join hands

As an Asian contribution to the 40st anniversary of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), celebrated at the IFOAM Headquarters in Bonn, Germany, November 2012, the Thai Green Market Network and Suan Nguen Mee Ma social enterprise, in response to the “IFOAM birthday wishlist”, cordially facilitate together with partners a global meeting of the IFOAM PGS Committee at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. The meeting is arranged to coincide with a gathering of the newly formed URGENCI Asia group. URGENCI is the network of CSA (= Community Supported Agriculture) initiatives, the most direct approach to farmers’ – consumers’ partnerships. The aim of the International Forum on Innovating Alternative Markets, Bangkok, 7 – 12 May 2013, is to create markets for small-scale “organic” (or: “in transition to” organic) farmers by connecting them directly with mindful consumers, and their organizations. In order to bringing the food economy home. A special role is perceived for social enterprises who help facilitate building partnerships based on Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). This effort revitalizes the grassroots origin of IFOAM which was founded in 1972 in Versailles, France, at the initiative of Nature et Progrès, the organization that at that time already promoted and practiced “PGS”, and does so until today.

Over the years IFOAM facilitated a remarkable growth of the organic food market all over the world. But this growth tends to be based on high-end markets and exports, marked by a price difference with industrial agri-business products that discourages many ordinary consumers.

Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) place the responsibility for quality support and control in the common hands of the diversity of stakeholders involved, in contrast to “third party” certification systems which incur high costs that cannot be met by small-scale farmers.

La Via Campesina, the International Peasants Movement, with millions of member-farmers all over the world, will participate in the meeting in order to join hands with the major organizations in the field of partnership building towards “alternative markets” that aim to constitute a new economy based on food security, food sovereignty, and sustainable development.

Please contact Rita Phetphudhong rita.innovationforum@gmail.com,
Thanapol Kheolamai thanapol@schoolforwellbeing.org or
Hans van Willenswaard hans@schoolforwellbeing.org for more information and registration for 2 or 4-day participation packages

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