Going green in Thailand: upgrading in global organic value chains

Joel D. Moore, John A. Donaldson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Under what conditions are some small-scale agricultural producers able to overcome challenges associated with shifting to organic production, whereas most are not? The answers are vital for the global effort to encourage more sustainable, pro-poor forms of agriculture—more organic farming, more sustainable production; more smallholders engaged in green production, more income and better livelihoods. Yet, answering this question is challenging in part because previous analyses of global production networks, such as those associated with organic agriculture, focus more on broad governance patterns than the specific factors and actors that help smallholders shift to organic production and link to far-flung markets. To fill in these gaps, we conducted fieldwork in Isan, Thailand, a major rice-producing area in which many groups of smallholders have attempted to shift into organic production. Doing so allows us to identify the critical challenges associated with upgrading into organic production and analyse how specific actors enabled some groups to overcome these challenges. Our findings provide a generalizable theoretical approach to understanding how to link small-scale farmers to global value chains in ways that can potentially enhance smallholders' livelihoods, spark rural development and encourage more sustainable practices in agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-867
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Agrarian Change
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • global value chains
  • organic agriculture
  • rural development
  • sustainable development
  • Thailand

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