Green Net Cooperative
Green Net is a Thai social enterprise working to link sustainable farmers and community enterprises with consumers. It focuses on promotion of organic agriculture and development of alternative fair markets. It works to build the participation of both farmers and consumers in this process, developing communiity enterprises that produce quality organic products that are safe for health and safe for the environment. This includes work to collect and distribute these products through fair trade channels. Green Net works as a marketing and distribution center for the diverse products of its farmer members including: rice, coconut milk, herbal teas, soybeans, and eco-textiles.
Green Net Coop has been registered as a cooperative under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives since 25 November 1993 originally under the name “The Nature Food Cooperative.” Thereafter the size and scope of its activities grew thus it legally changed its name to “Green Net Cooperative" on 10 May 2001.
Green Net’s mission is “To serve as a marketing channel for small-scale organic farmers, incorporating fair-trade principles in its marketing activities” by combining organic agriculture and fair-trade as its core policies.
Green Net’s motto is “Live Fair, Live Organic”
Domestic Marketing Department
Works to distribute organic production, natural products and ecological products to consumers in Thailand. Products include rice, vegetables, beans, dry fruits, herbal teas, eco-textiles, honey, soy sauce, and virgin coconut oil.
Export Marketing Department
In charge of export markets included managing the export logistics. Export products include: Thai Jasmine rice, Red Jasmine rice, other rice varieties, coconut milk, and coffee. Key markets include Europe: Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Begium, France, and Spain, outside Europe Green Net has trading partners in New Zealand, Malaysia, and Canada.
Quality Management Department
In charge of overseeing quality management from harvest to sale including developing the capacity of involved farmers’ groups in effective quality management skills and proceedures.
Product Development Department
In charge of developing new products and packaging to service our farmer members and customers
Green Net is a member of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)
Our Milestones and Key Activities
- Participated in the fair trade campaign to promote organic farming and fair trade practices in Italy organized by CTM Altromercato (21 - 28 Oct)
- Attended a organic fair in Korea with Green Net booth at the 2009 Uljin Organic Expo (24 - 28 Jul)
- Start exporting organic fair trade rice vinegar, produced from broken jasmine rice. The vinegar has both organic and fairtrade certifications
- Became the member of World Fair Trade Organization - Asia (WFTO-Asia) from April 2009
- Participated in the fair trade campaign to promote organic farming and fair trade practices in Austria organized by EZA (11 - 19 Sept)
- Started the packing services at the Rice Packing Unit in Yasothon with packing capacity of around 2 tons per day
- Start exporting organic coconut milk to fair trade buyers in Europe
- Together with the Earth Net Foundation, we acquired a 20-rai land (around 3.2 ha) in Ban Don Ma Yang, Tambol Kan Noi, Kamkeankaew District, Yasothon to establish rice packing unit and organic agriculture center
- Joined with other private sector and local non-governmental organizations to establish a network "Thai Fair Trade Forum - TFTF" to promote fair trade in Thailand
- Attended the organic and fair trade rice campaign in Belgium organized by Belgium fairtrade organization during 15 - 20 March
- Participated in the Asian FLO certified producers meeting in Bangkok durin 18 - 20 September
- Together with other private sector engaging in organic business, founded the Thai Organic Trader Association (TOTA). Representative from GNC served as the general secretary of the association.
- Attended the organic and fair trade rice campaign in Spain
- Attended the organic and fair trade rice campaign in Switzerland and Belgium during late April to early May, with Yasothorn farmer representative, Mr. Thong-oun Tedthi
- Received Belgium reporter groups visiting organic and fair trade rice project. The visit was organzied by Max Havellar Belgium
- Participated in national campaign against aloowing field tests of GMO crops together with the organic business club and other private sector
- Green Net Ccooperative became the membership of the then International Fair Trade Association (IFAT), now changed the name to World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). Established in 1989, WFTO is an international organization of all fair trade practitioners.
- A big year for Green Net when it host several international event for one week, 2 - 9 November 2003. More than 200 people form 36 countries worldwide came to attend a series of event consist of
- international seminar on "Justice in Sustainable Agriculture" organized by Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) and Social Accountability in Sustainable Agriculture (SASA), 2 - 5 Nov
- regional workshop by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) on organic vegetable production and export from Asia, 3 - 5 Nov
- IFOAM international trade conference, 6 - 8 Nov
- IFOAM workshop on local marketing on 9 Nov
- Green Net Cooperative received registration as fairtrade rice producer by the Fairtrade Labeling Organization International (FLO). This enables the rice produced under the organic and fairtrade project to be labeled with FLO mark.
- Green Net Cooperative received the pilot audit of Social Accountability in Sustainable Agriculture (SASA) for our organic rice producer members in Thailand. The pilot audit’s main aim is to develop guidelines and tools for the implementation of social audits in sustainable agriculture. In order to achieve this goal, four international organizations are conducting a series of twelve pilot audits in developing and industrialized countries alike: FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International), SAI (Social Accountability International), SAN (The Sustainable Agriculture Network) and IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements). The audits are joint learning exercises where auditors representing each of the four systems learn about each other’s methodologies and tools for agricultural audits and together examine how to improve social auditing activities.
- Green Net Coop and Earth Net Foundation organized 2 public workshop of eco-textile on "Ikat Dye" and "Indigo: The Living Dye".
- Organized public seminar on ""Entering World of Organic Agriculture". Speakers were resource persons from International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and International Organic Accreditation Services (IOAS). The seminar was attended by 170 participants. The main issued discussed in the seminar include organic standards, certification, accreditation, and how the Thai government should formulate its policies to support organic agriculture and trade.
- The ENF together with Green Net Coop, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative, and Organic Society (Thailand), IFOAM, and KF Supermarket (Sweden) organized the first "IFOAM Organic Shrimp Consultation". Eighty six people participated in the event to discuss experiences in organic shrimp farming, organic shrimp standards, and specific recommendations to IFOAM Standard Committee on organic aquaculture standards.
- Green Net Coop and the Earth Net Foundation launched the eco-textile programme. The objective is to promote new perception of Thai local natural dye textile such as the natural dye, natural fiber. This programme links the eco-textile production with consumer marketing. The first activity was the "Thousand Weave, Hundred Textile" fair and the seminar on "Future Direction of Thai Local Textile".
- Organized a workshop on "The pro-active marketing for green shops" and "Green shop’s business approaches during economic crisis" to help green shop operators coping with the economic recession in Asia
- Organized " Half a Decade of Green Net" to review the experiences and lessons learnt as alternative market organization. Participants included organic farmers, green shop operators, NGOs, consumers and other interested people.
- Organized workshop on "Making Compost and Bokashi" for producers and NGOs within the Green Net network. The workshop included a seminar, field visit, and on-farm training in Malaysia.
- Organized training on "How to do open a green shop" for people interested in doing business with health and environment products
- Organized training on "Herbal Product" for green shop operators
- Green Net's bi-monthly magazine was launched. The magazine is to promote organic farming, organic and health products, as well as social and environmental responsible lifestyle.
- Several eco-tour activities were organized to bring consumers to visit organic vegetable farms and rural development activities. For instance, in collaboration with the Community Organization Development Project, a local NGOs in Chiangmai, Green Net organized a eco-tour to visit organic vegetables producers and community forestry activities in Mae Ta district of Chiangmai. Several eco-tours were organized in collaboration with TREE, in Suphanburi, to visit organic fruit and vegetable production.
- In collaboration with "Paper for Tree Project" and Thai Health Foundation, "Green Gift for Better World" fair was organized to promote organic agriculture and green products during Christmas and New Year Festival.
- Published a book on "Indigenous Knowledge and Biodiversity" and "Green Calendar". The Green Calendar was a collaborative work with Consumer Foundation to raise consumer awareness on environmentally responsible lifestyle. Also, a leaflet on "Consumption for Better Health & Environment" was published and distributed to consumers through green shops within the Green Net’s network.
- Joined with Alternative Agriculture Network and IFOAM-Asia to host a workshop on ‘Certification for Organic Agriculture and Alternative Market. The objective was to present working experience in organic agriculture, certification & standard including alternative market procedure in Asia. There were participants from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Srilanka and Thailand.
- The then Nature Food Cooperative received rice export license registeration with the Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce. The export license allows the GN Coop to start exporting rice to Europe fairtrade organizations in Switzerland, Italy, France, German, and Belgium
- Attended the IFOAM-Asia conference at Soul, South Korea and presented a paper on organic agriculture development in Thailand. Also, applied for membership of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). Green net is the first full member of IFOAM from Thailand.
- Joined with Alternative Agriculture Network publish "Alternative Agriculture Standard" booklet, the first draft of organic standards in Thailand for public consultation. Green Net also published 5 other booklets on IFOAM Basic Standards of Organic Production (Thai translation of IFOAM organic standards), Alternative Market: Lesson from Japan, Organic Vegetables: Good Friend for Urban People, HACCP, and Organic Inspection (Thai translation of IFOAM organic inspection manual).
- Open the Green Net Shop Senanivej Branch for retailing green shop
- Joined with the Folk Doctor Foundation to organize "Free-Chemical Food for Health and Environment" at Lumpini park. This was the first public appearance of Green net.
Green Net started trading of organic foods from various producer groups like organic vegetables from Non-Toxic Vegetable Producer Group in Mae Ta district of Chiang Mai and the Kok Ko Taw Producer Group in Suphanburi, palm sugar from Ampher Singhnakorn village, Shrimp paste Bangsakom Village Songkhla, Free-Chemical Sesami Oil from Thai Yai village Ban pangmoo Maehongson etc. In the initial stage, Green Net experimented several marketing strategies including mobile stalls at government office, office building, and business organizations, deliver to member home and office, and wholesale to health shops in Bangkok and other provinces.