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Participation In Agri-Food Safety Collaborative Network: An Example From Songkhla Province, Thailand

Nattaya Thaennin    
Parichart Visuthismajarn    
Pongthep Sutheravut    


We conducted this case study in Songkhla Province in Thailand, with the aim of exploring the participation in a collaborative network for food safety. This study was conducted using a qualitative approach, with data collected from 15 representatives of various group leaders within the network. Participatory observation was used to cross-validate the data obtained, and content analysis to analyze the collected data. The study found that the goals of the agri-food safety collaborative network are self-reliance, resource conservation, food security, and health. The main purpose of the network is to develop a system for food-safety management, consisting of three connected systems: a fair and self-sufficient production system, a fair and sustainable marketing system, and an appreciative consumption. There are four supporting mechanisms for encouraging participation in the network: network management, coordination, mutual learning, and communication. We found that participation is a social learning process. The three systems of agri-food safety management focus on participation to encourage intra- and inter-group mutual learning of the network. The social capital existing in the area, especially, the civil society network and the knowledge therein, are key factors for building a collaborative network as a tool for the participation of the public and private sectors in the broader term of food safety.

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