Multi-Dimensional Dynamics and Spatial Connections in Food Retail Markets in Thailand: Paper presented at NGM 2019

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperCommunication

The diffusion of global retailers and the introduction of ‘modern’ distribution and sourcing channels combined with affluent domestic demand for higher-quality fresh produce have brought about significant transformation processes in the food retail systems in the Global South. This paper examines the multi-dimensional dynamics and spatial connections within these transforming food systems in Thailand, drawing on qualitative interviews conducted with key stakeholders along selected agri-food value chains in the provinces of Chiang Mai and Bangkok. The paper argues that supermarket-driven agri-food value chains are only one of many forces affecting the modernisation of agri-food systems and these value chains do not evolve or operate separately from the ‘traditional’ food value chains and retail markets in Thailand. Through an analysis of spaces of interactions between (actors in) traditional- and supermarket-driven food retail value chains, the paper shows firstly, that similar sets of food safety and quality requirements are transmitted upstream to smallholders in remotely located villages in both ‘types’ of agri-food value chains. Second, distantly located urban wholesale traders and modern food retail outlets are dependent on and interconnected with similar traders grounded in local production arenas, who perform a pivotal role in coordinating and monitoring compliance with requirements in retail markets. The paper ends with a discussion on how the nature of the crop and spatial connections in agri-food value chains influence local development patterns in distant yet interconnected localities as well as with reflections on conceptualising spatial connectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date18 May 2019
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2019
EventNordic Geographers Meeting 2019: Sustainable Geographies - Geographies of Sustainability - Norges Tekniske og Naturvidenskabelige Universitet, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 16 Jun 201919 Jun 2019


ConferenceNordic Geographers Meeting 2019
LocationNorges Tekniske og Naturvidenskabelige Universitet, NTNU
Internet address

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Agri-food value chains, Governance, Traders, Spatiality, Thailand

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