The history of PLA Organic
PLA Organic is founded by Supaporn Anuchirachiva, PhD, Earth Net Foundation, with the intention to solve three main issues for the seafood market in Thailand, which are the problem of chemicals used in seafood products, the livelihood of small-scale fishermen and irresponsible fishing practices. PLA Organic was started by a project called, ‘Small-scale fisheries & Organic fishery products ‘ in 2013, that was funded by European Union that becomes very successful in helping fishermen and at the same time bring healthier lifestyle to people in Bangkok. Currently, PLA Organic is working with 7 local fishing organizations in 7 provinces which are Phetchaburi, Songkhla, Phatthalung, Pattani, Phang Nga, Krabi and Satun. According to Dr. Supaporn, this project started from a question that, “Most people love eating seafood, do they know where all this seafood comes from? How the small-scale fishers who have been practicing responsible fishing could have support from the seafood consumers” With this question in her mind, she wants to be able to answer to the consumer where all this seafood is coming from and at the same time, wants to help those fishermen to have a better life and a place to raise their voice in the society.
Fishery in Thailand
PLA Organic is the first organization that started to realize Thailand needs to focus more into the development of sustainable safe and organic seafood supply chain from small-scale fisheries. With a coastline with more than 2,600 kilometers and a rich ecosystem, Thailand is a perfect place for fisheries and good quality seafood products, but from the irresponsible fishing practices causing deterioration of aquatic life and ecosystems Including catching young aquatic animals to supply the huge animal feeding industry, causing the quantity of fish to decrease. Moreover, in the main-stream seafood supply chain system, chemical used to preserve and/ maintain the looks of seafood it seems to be normal and acceptable. At PLA Organic, consumers will know exactly where the products are coming from; in each of seven fishing organizations, a group of committees will collect the products from their fishing members weekly to be sent to Bangkok for consumers with the idea of helping the fishermen to have more income and a better life and also for the consumer to have a healthier life. Nowadays, more and more consumers are interested with the idea of responsible fishing, so we arrange a fishing study tour, ‘ecotourism’, in the south for people who are interested to see how the seafoods is caught and the current livelihood of the small-scale fishermen. Besides, creating a healthier lifestyle for consumer and helping local fishermen; PLA Organic has also helped local people in ecotourism to bring awareness in sustainable coastal resources management to the people in the bigger city.