Visit to the Sisaket Fairtrade Farmer Group

Through Fairtrade Original, farmers from Ruam Thai visited the Sisaket Fairtrade Farmer Group. The farmers who still grow pineapples in Ruam Thai, and therefore have to deal with elephants that damage their crops almost every day, are very interested in BTEH’s Tom Yum project. With the Tom Yum project we encourage farmers to grow crops that elephants do not like. But to switch to these crops, a reliable market is obviously needed. And preferably one that is fair!

The Sisaket Fairtrade Farmer Group shared their knowledge and 12 years of experience with Fairtrade with great enthusiasm. Several issues to become Fairtrade certified have been discussed, and of course we visited the farms of several participating farmers. The farmers of Ruam Thai went home full of valuable insights and inspiration. This could make a big difference in the peaceful coexistence of elephants and Thai farmers. Many thanks for the hospitality of the farmers in Sisaket and the introduction by Fairtrade Original. We hope for a sequel!

The Tom Yum project is part of the Human Elephant Coexistence Through Alternative Agricultural Research ​(HECTAAR) in collaboration with Trunks & Leaves.

“I learned how to plant many new crops today, and I want to go back and plant chilli, lemongrass and shallots on my land without using chemicals.” – Khun Moo
“I learned how to plant many crop species together on one piece of land. I think farming this way is better for the health of the soil and for my own health as well.” Khun Rom
“I have been planting lemongrass for a long time but never had the chance to sell it to an industrial market. Today I learned how to prepare my lemongrass for industrial sale and believe it is possible to earn a living from planting it” – Khun Jong
“Our land is different and our weather is different, but I want to try planting these crops and if there is a guaranteed market I think other farmers in our village will want to try too.” – Khun Sak

“Elephants have already pushed over all the trees in my land and the land of neighboring farmers. If we can plant these crops like how the farmers are doing here, we can all keep farming without worrying about elephants.” – Khun Noot
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