Local Practice of Solidarity Economy: A Case Study on Pgs Project for the “Tribal E-Shop” in Taiwan

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:15
Location: Hörsaal 4C G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Huei-Wen CHIN, Institute of Sociology, National Tsing-Hua University, Taiwan, Association of Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples' Development, Taiwan
Jie-Ting CHEN, Agricultural Policy Research Center, Taiwan
Solidarity economy is a community-based economic model to resist the exploitation of capitalism and neoliberalism. In the case study on PGS project for the “Tribal E-shop” in Taiwan, solidarity economy not only provides a solution for promoting organic agriculture in indigenous tribes, but also can be beneficial to human rights, health, food sovereignty, fair share of land of indigenous peoples and avoid the domination of food chain as well as preserving biodiversity from big corporations or financial institutions.

The Association of Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples’ Development (a local NGO) had established a platform named “Tribal E-shop” for cooperative production and marketing since 2005. It has a retail shop for marketing agricultural product of indigenous farmers. The project of participatory guarantee system (PGS) provides an alternative path for whom in a difficult position to conform to the official standards of certification. One of the authors in this study is the manager of this “Tribal E-shop”. Through years of management and participatory observation, we found PGS established a high autonomous guarantee system and paves a way for the development of organic agriculture in indigenous tribes. Taken as a whole, PGS offers two important mechanisms: First, the PGS fosters social networks, increasing farmers’ participation. Second, in order to empower farmers’ ability to surmount the difficulties of the prevailing system, the PGS integrates the habitus of local contexts into a relatively autonomous field, which is called ‘indigenous farmers’ cooperative’.

For sustainable development of indigenous peoples, this study suggests that the stakeholders (including consumers, producers, retails etc.)  should cooperate and have the opportunity for coexisting in the context of capitalist society.