Growing organically: exploring Thai farmer perception and preparedness towards the EU's new organic regulation

ContributorsBadamkhatan, Udval
Number of pages60 p.
Master program titleMaster en standardisation, régulation et développement durable
Defense date2023-07-10

Organic farming is widely regarded as a promising alternative to conventional agriculture, offering various benefits. It has potential to address environmental issues, conserve biodiversity and ecosystems, improve land and soil fertility, provide nutrient-rich and healthy food, and enhance the socio-economic well-being of small-scale farmers. The significance of organic agriculture aligns with overarching sustainability strategies, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and has been reflected in the EU’s strategic policy frameworks like the European Union Farm to Fork Strategy and the European Green Deal, which aim to expand organic agriculture by twenty five percent by 2030.

The growing interest in organic farming in both supply and demand sides presents both trade-led growth opportunities as a niche market and trade barriers due to stricter compliance requirements. The EU, being the second-largest organic market with significant organic sales, is highly sought after by third country exporters. In 2018, the European Commission (EC) introduced regulation (EU) 2018/848 on organic product and product labelling, which came into effect in EU member states in 2022. This report serves as an ex-ante study, anticipating the impact of the new EU regulation, set to apply to third-country exporters from January 2025.

The study is conducted within the framework of the Arise Plus Thailand project, implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand. One of the project’s objectives is to enhance organic agricultural practices in Thailand and the ASEAN region. Through an internship, the author investigated the perception of the new EU organic regulation among Thai farmers, operators and exporters to identify key compliance constraints. The findings aim to provide recommendations for further tailored trade-related technical assistance under the project.

The study includes a theoretical analysis through targeted literature review on organic farming concepts, organic certification and organic agriculture regulatory requirements. It also involves an empirical method using an online survey questionnaire administered to Thai farmers, operators and exporters. The collected survey responses analyzed using mixed methods of descriptive statistics and qualitative analysis, leading to conclusions and recommendations. The scope of present study is limited to the expected impact of the new EU regulation on Thai farmers, operators and exporters, who are exclusively part of the project’s beneficiary group. Conducting a study among a broader group of farmers, operators and exporters in Thailand, beyond the project’s scope could provide valuable insights into the actual perception of the new EU organic regulation and its expected impact on third country exporters, specifically in the case study of Thailand.

Citation (ISO format)
BADAMKHATAN, Udval. Growing organically: exploring Thai farmer perception and preparedness towards the EU’s new organic regulation. 2023.
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Master thesis
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