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Green Net's Philosophy and Policies

The root of Green Net’s philosophy is “Practicing social enterprise, developing the economy while caring for the environment with people-centered  of development”

Philosophy #1 Enterprise for the Social Good

We believe that doing development work for the nation is the responsibility of all sectors of society, including government agencies, research institutions, businesses, and NGOs.  The work of non-government organizations that serve disadvantaged groups in society should be considered part of social enterprise, whether it is through building the knowledge of farmers, building the strength of producer groups, or working to manage the market for such groups.

The different between social enterprise and regular business is found in the goals and methods of doing business.  Social enterprise is focused on changing the beliefs and practices of society on a wider level.  Normal business has a narrower goal, just to earn the maximum profits for the organization itself.  Both forms of business are similar in that they utilize resources and capital both of the organization and from outside to provide different services to society such as production, sales, knowledge management, and other services.

Green Net’s activities follow the philosophy of social enterprise, as Green Net has the goals of supporting organic agriculture and fair trade, considering the benefits for small-scale farmers, rural communities, and society as a whole.  The work of Green Net in the context of enterprise for the social good, can be divided into different roles
  • Earth Net Foundation has the role as the main organization developing and supporting grassroots community enterprise as organic agriculture practices place importance on protecting and restoring natural resources and the local environment
  • Green Net Cooperative provides service developing market access for small-scale farmers practicing organic agriculture and producing natural products


Philosophy # 2. Developing the Economy while Caring for the Environment

National development has focus on economic development on a macro scale which has brought on imbalances between economic development and development in other areas.  Green Net believes that in order to develop sustainably, development must be holistic, whereas economic development forms an important base, other areas must be developed in balance, especially care for and improvement of the environment and social development.

Holistic development does not mean that the economy is developed first and once the economy is strong, projects are initiated and standards set to protect and restore the environment.  Green Net believes that we must develop the economy in tandem with taking an interest in and caring for the environment, as real economic strength and sustainability only comes when natural resources and the environment are cared for and improved.

The main activities of Green Net focus on supporting development of organic agriculture and fair trade, as organic agriculture focuses on producing food and products while caring for the environment. At the same time, fair trade, aside from insuring the economic development of farmers and producer organizations, also plays an important role in the organic agriculture system as alternative and fair trade markets help to interest and motivate small-scale farmers.  Fair Trade has helped enable many small-scale farmers be able make the transition to organic farming methods and then be able to continue practicing these methods sustainably.


Philosophy # 3. Human is the focus of Development

Green Net believes that the highest goal of development is to develop people, helping citizens to have a better quality of life, developing the economy and society and caring for and improving the environment to raise the quality of life of the people. The development intervention must support a learning process involving affected groups from society.  This is done to ensure that the results of the development work will benefit society as a whole and to ensure that the work done will be sustainable, as groups that are benefiting from the work will continue the development process.

To fulfill this philosophy Green Net gives importance to developing skills, knowledge, way of thinking, and the learning of people.  As we believe people, who include farmers, villagers, and all our staff are the most valuable measure of real success.
  • For farmers, they must be supported to create a discovery learning process, by doing activities that give farmers the opportunity to test, try, and learn from real situations encountered in their own farm and community.  This process, mixed together with traditional knowledge, enable the farmer to apply the body of knowledge developed to manage and solve their own problems appropriately.
  • For staff, their way of thinking, skills, and knowledge must be continuously developed on all sides.  This is done through regular training, which also raises the ability and confidence of staff in their work, leading to greater efficiency in performance.

 

To be consistent with its philosophy, vision, and mission, Green Net has set the framework of its key working policies as follows:

Policy # 1. Focus on and give importance to small-scale farmers

Most Thai citizens are farmers and most Thai farmers are small-scale farmers that rely primarily on their own household’s labor, therefore Green Net has the policy to work primarily with small-scale farmers and producers.  In its works, Green Net supports small-scale farmers to join together as a group to do production following organic methods.

Aside from this, Green Net sees the importance of supporting small-scale farmers to join together in groups so that they may help each other and develop strength to negotiate.  In this process of farmers working together, Green Net supports these groups to do community enterprise.


Policy # 2. Be a Learning Organization

Society today is changing at a very rapid pace, especially in the area of information.  Therefore this period of time is often called the information age, as communication technologies have developed to the point that now it easy for two people on different corners of the Earth to communicate quickly and cheaply.  This means that we now have access to much more information to use in making decisions, and that working conditions and practices are changing and evolving all of the time.

Practicing enterprise for the social good, it is critical to be aware of a wide range of issues and to adapt quickly to fit within changing circumstances.  Learning about current issues and improving work practices is something that needs to happen at all levels of the organization, therefore the organization needs to be a learning organization.  Learning must include developing a body of new knowledge, being aware of news both from inside and outside the organization, and includes learning to use appropriate technologies.

To be a learning organization, Green Net encourages and supports creative thinking by its staff.  This may lead development of an innovation within the organization, or adaptation of innovative ideas from outside to apply in the organization’s work, potentially changing both the way of thinking of and performing one’s work.

Aside from this, developing an information system is another important part collecting information both from outside and from the own experience of those in the organization. Outside information is collected, grouped, and organized in an information center. This information center serves interested parties such as students, researchers, press, and the general public who come to use the center.


Policy # 3 Staff Equality and Non- Discrimination

At birth all humans are equal.  Green Net has a clear policy to treat all staff equally and not to discriminate whether based upon gender, age, ethnicity, religion, or skin color.  Green Net gives equal opportunity to all staff to work.  Compensation for all staff is based upon their abilities.  All staff are supported to be promoted in their work, where working efficiency, ability, and diligence are the evaluation criteria used without discrimination.
 

Policy # 4. Quality Policy

In all areas of work, just working efficiently is not enough; work must also focus on quality.  Especially in today’s working focusing on quality is critical for long-term success and an organization.  For the organization’s customers and client with be pleased with the organization when they receive consistently good quality products and services, meeting the specifications of the organization.

An organization practicing enterprise for the social good needs to develop a quality management system to ensure that work is done according to a system that is in line with the organization’s quality objectives. These quality objectives focus not only on producing quality products and services, but also involve each working step, which must be in line with the quality management system as follows:

  • Staff at all levels (from field staff to administrators) must be conscious of and focused on quality.
  • Working steps and details need to be written down so that they may be reviewed in the case that problems are founds.
  • The organization needs to learn from its past mistakes and implement measures that will prevent the same mistakes from being made again in the future.
  • Staff must be happy, safe, and healthy in doing their work.