Partnermeeting in Thailand

Photo Essay

In mid-February, members of the Co-SFSC team visited our Thailand hub to learn about sustainable food supply chains, important actors in the organic food system, and exchanged ideas across contexts to help inform the transformative work of the other hubs in Germany, Taiwan and Turkey.

First Day

The Thai Organic Consumer Association

On the first day of the trip, the group of researchers visited Thai Organic Consumer Association (TOCA), our practice partner of Thailand hub in Nakhonpathom Province, Thailand.  TOCA is a network of consumers and businesses who have interests in fostering organic society by partnerships between organic farmers, consumers, businesses, and relevant stakeholders. Mr Arut Nawarat, Mr. Charitporn Mengkred, and Ms. Sasitorn Kitkobchai; TOCA executive committee, welcomed us and explained how TOCA organizes activities to engage consumers and businesses in fostering an organic society.

camera man filming an interview

Informationbaord about sustainable living


Conversation between four people

“Thailand has been promoting organic agriculture for about 14 years. What is different is that most people focus on the producer's perspective when promoting organic agriculture, but the TOCA is an association named from the consumer's side. This is what makes it unique. Although the PGS (participatory guarantee system) works to incorporate more local farmers joining the TOCA, there is still a lack of laws, official regulations, or acts to promote and subsidize organic farming in Thailand.” Visiting researcher from Taiwan, Ying-Chen Lin

group of people standing in front of sampran Model academy

conversation in conference room

conversation in a conference room

The TOCA building

The association sells own products

products sold by TOCA association

products sould by TOCA association

Coming back to Bangkok we visited a traditional market there, admiring the richness of fruit and vegetables. 

traditional market in Bangkok

Part of the market was dedicated to meat and fish as well.

traditional market in Bangkok

Second Day

The Bangkacho Organic Farm

On the second day of the trip, the team visited Bangkachao Organic Farm and Café, Samutprakarn Province, Thailand. The Bangkachao Organic Farm welcomed us with refreshing coconuts. After sipping our coconut waters, we sat down to listen to the inspiring story of the farm.

Bankacho organic farm


man selling coconuts atBankachao organic farm

Bangkachao Organic Farm is one of TOCA’s network.  Mr. Taweesak Ongiam, the farm owner, gave a presentation on farm history and showed activities on the farm to the team.  The farm is organic and 100% zero waste.

The story begins in the midst of a climate crisis. Bang Kachao, where the farm got its name, is a peninsula around the Chao Pharaya River in Samut Prakan province. The salt water moved up river by the tides and mixed up with the fresh water. There was a river flooding in the area about 30 years ago. After the flooding, the salt water stayed on the land long enough destroying the rich soil of the wetland farming.

The Bangkachao Organic Farm began aquaponic farming by recirculating and recycling the water for livestock, plants and fish. As in many successful enterprises, the Bangkacho Organic Farm ran into several challenges, such as energy costs, water curing problems along the way that had to be overcome. To cure the soil, earthworm farming became a viable option. As a more financially sustainable bedding for earthworms the yanagi mushroom compost was chosen. Currently, Bangkacho Organic Farm is focused on nutrient rich worm casting fertilizers along with yanagi mushrooms.

In one year, the farm products received the organic certification. They began with 7 farmers from the region, but they reach 136 farmers from the region. Toyota supported them with machinery and the hotels supported the farm by buying off the products from the region. The Bangkacho Organic Farm received the organic certification from the government. And joined the TOCA app without cost.


Listening to the story of the farm increased our curiosity about the products. We took a long tour in the mushroom house and visited earthworms.


The Bangkachao Organic Farm has also been involved in innovative investment like eco composting bins. The new composting bins decreased the compost time drastically.

Informationoard of th e Bangkachao organic farm

people looking at mushrooms

compost container

inside a mushroom house

We have then visited ducks and observed the fast-growing lime trees with the help of earthworm fertilizers. 

eco composting at Bangkachao Organic Farm

Bangkachao Organic Farm

Eco composter at Bangkachao Organic Farm

Another synergy: ducks protect and fertilize, getting themselves food and shelter from the sun at the same time.

dugs at the Bangkachao Organic Farm

man showing an earth worm

women holding a dug

After this tour, we were ready for lunch. The appetizing lunch menu included the products of the farm.

plate with food

people at a buffet

Stir fried Yanagi

Food on a table

After lunch we took out time wandering in the farm while Mark, our project documentary director, were filming the videos.

project documentary director, is filming the team

After the video shootings, we thanked the farm team and headed back to the hotel.

team in front of the Bangkachao Organic Farm building

Third Day

Workshop and Collaboration

On 15 February 2024, the researchers in Thailand hub and TOCA, practice partner organized a visioning and transition workshop with stakeholders in Bangkok and the metropolitan area. The workshop’s participants included farmers, restaurants, consumers, TOCA, Department of Internal Trade Department of Climate Change and Environment, and universities.

The workshop was facilitated by Dr Udom Hongchatkul, Sustainable Food/ Social Lab Thailand. The participants expressed their future vision about a sustainable restaurant supply chain in the next 30 years and developed strategies that could be implemented in order to achieve future vision. The examples of future visions include availability of sustainable restaurants in every corner of the city, 100% ban on chemical use, a learning center of organic food in every district, one reliable organic certification, and an organic community online platform.

The examples of strategies include education about sustainable food in school and university, investment in research for databases, environmental technology, and government subsidy. The researchers from Germany, Turkey, and Taiwan observed the workshop all day.

picture with researchers and TOCA

Visioning and back-casting workshop to develop strategies for sustainable restaurant supply chains with stakeholders in Bangkok and the metropolitan area. 15 Feb 2024, Sivatel hotel, Bangkok.  A group picture at the end of the workshop. There were participants from Farms, Restaurants, the Government, research and a hotel exchanging on visions and doing a backcasting exercise.

three people wrting down their visions at TOCA workshop

people presenting their visions at TOCA workshop

Exchange on the results of the group work

people sitting in a circle exchaning results

Visioning and back-casting workshop to develop strategies for sustainable restaurant supply chains with stakeholders in Bangkok and the metropolitan region. 15 Feb 2024, Sivatel hotel, Bangkok

After the workshop, we had the chance to do an interview with Alisara Sivayathorn, the CEO of Sivatel Hotel and to visit her impressive rooftop garden

an interview with Alisara Sivayathorn, the CEO of Sivatel Hotel

rooftop of the Sivatel Hotel