Since the early 2000s, the governments in ASEAN (the Association of South East Asian Nations) countries have developed 'good agricultural practices' (GAP) as public approaches to field-level quality assurance. Besides the primary goals of consumer food safety and quality assurance, these public GAP programs aim to support small-scale farmer inclusion in mainstream markets. This goal represents the antithesis of the prevailing trend that private GAP approaches have tightened integration with resourceful, large-scale producers in global value chains. This paper examines the compatibility of the goals of safety assurance and social justice in a public GAP approach through comparative analysis of Thailand's Q-GAP between two local contexts of fruit production and marketing. The research findings suggest that while the public GAP scheme could draw the participation of a broad cohort of local small-scale producers and serve to certify their production, its impact on changing producers' on-field practices and catalyzing their access to the global market through food safety assurance is limited. The binding factors include the lack of producers' understanding of the principles of the programme, limited additional economic merits for them, and the influence of extra-local market forces that stress economies of size and food quality rather than food safety.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)