On 24 July 2018, Focus on the Global South, ETC Group, and the Chulalongkorn University Research Institute (CUSRI) organized a forum in Bangkok on corporate concentration in agriculture and food, and its implications on food sovereignty in South East Asia. The forum brought speakers from a number of national, regional and international organisations, and the audience of around 60 individuals comprised representatives from social movements, civil society organisations, academia, and the general public.
More than 80 participants representing trade union, farmers, indigenous peoples, and other civil society organitations gathered in Thailand on the sidelines of the latest negotiations RCEP mega trade agreement in Asia. Here is their statement.
From 21-25 November 2016, about 50 people, involved in struggles to defend the territories, forests and livelihoods of forest-dependent communities, came together in Thailand for a field visit to the Northeast of the country, followed by a 3-days meeting in Bangkok. Besides a delegation from Thailand, other participants came from Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and India. The aims of the gathering, which focused on the central question of What´s happening to our forests?, included promoting exchange and dialogue on old and new threats and challenges faced by communities in the different countries.
By amending Thailand's Plant Varieties Protection Act, seeds will become 200-600% more expensive as the rights of corporations are extended along with expanded patent protection, reducing farmers rights in saving seeds. Food will become more expensive as production costs go up, while food diversity suffers. Farmers will lose the ability to save seeds for planting the next season or for swapping with their neighbors.
A food safety advocacy group will file negligence and dereliction of duty complaints against the Department of Agriculture, after finding more than half the fruit and vegetables awarded a government "Q mark" for quality had harmful residue levels.
In 2015, at a time when Thailand’s latest dictatorship was limiting the rights and freedoms of people to assemble and mobilise, a group of corporations led by Monsanto saw this as an opportunity to start growing GMOs in open field trials and even to begin intensive commercial trials once more. It lobbied hard for the Biosafety Bill, a draft piece of legislation that we might as well call a “GMO Liberalisation Bill”.
On Wednesday, February 11 2015, Chai Bunthonglek, a land rights activist from Klong Sai Pattana village, Chaiburi District Suratthani Province and member of the Southern Peasant Federation of Thailand was gunned down. International and local human rights defenders have condemned the murder of a land rights activist in Surat Thani.
An Asian agribusiness giant spends 50,000 dollars a month to influence media and social networks in Thailand to keep its image positive, according to a report from the Thailand Information Centre For Civil Rights and Investigative Journalism (TCIJ) – the money goes to reporters, radio hosts, websites and others. In the wake of the report, Charoen Pokhpand Foods admitted the firm had set aside a budget for the press, but insists that the process was accountable and transparent.
Slaves forced to work for no pay for years at a time under threat of extreme violence are being used in Asia in the production of seafood sold by major US, British and other European retailers.
A group of farmers gather at the Department of Agriculture (DOA) in Bang Khen district yesterday to voice their opposition to the planned ratification of the 1991 International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). The farmers submitted a protest letter to Martin Ekvad, the UPOV executive who briefed DOA officials about the convention.