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I reckon this has been going on a lot longer than your realise, possibly more than a decade now, much of it spurred on by the success of the Royal Projects/Doi Kham. Something worth being aware of is that few of these 'organic' or 'free range' endeavours are able to comply with any sort of international standards, a significantly costly and bureaucratic hurdle. And when I did some writing on this several years ago there was not yet any agreed-upon domestic organic standards, although this may not be the case now.

Surin has an even larger reputation for rice grown by different methods. Closer to Bangkok, you should talk to the guy who does Dairy Home, at Muak Lek, near Khao Yai. His products are great (he can't afford go officially organic, but reckons he complies with all the standards) and his cows actually spend their lives grazing in green fields...

Thanks Austin.

I will contact the guy at Dairy Home. I do realize that there are all sorts of standards at work here -- many different certifications on the market, including some that allow farmers to use up to 20 kilos of petro-fertilizers per acre, some that dont use any at all, and many who simply dont spray pesticides 7-10 days before harvesting. Its far from a science. Thats why Ill be contracting certain meats and vegetables from places that I have visited and from people I trust, rather than, say, buying at a market or from a food supplier. What Im trying to do is set up a supply chain that connects me directly to farmers and/or coops Id like to support, because I like their food, and the way that they produce it. Im not concerned about certifications so much as quality and integrity.  

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