This paper will demonstrate how discourse coalitions promote and institutionalize regulations, communicating the meanings of certified, alternative agricultural production processes through the labeling of vegetable produce. This analysis introduces the concepts of discourse coalitions as a way to evaluate the power and linkages constituting an alternative agricultural commodity network. The actors constituting these networks will be shown to work as coalitions of actors promoting complementary and competing discursive strategies which explain the role of consumer understanding in completing the commodity network. Data for this analysis was derived from a survey instrument used to determine the attitudes and propensities toward the purchase of conventional and alternative vegetables of 324 consumers in the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand Discourse coalitions are responsible for enacting the relationship between regulatory practice, method of certification and labeling practices. Effective communication of regulatory practices used in certification can be seen by the level of trust consumers have in the marketplaces and labeling.
Key words: Discourse coalition, certified agricultural commodity network
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