Community-Supported Agriculture(CSA)

Community-Supported Agriculture(CSA)

Community Supported Agriculture (AAC), also called the “ CSA model ” or, in English, community-supported agriculture, is an alternative economic system that connects consumers to farmers.

In this model, consumers, also called co-producers, are more aware of the processes of planting food and share the risks involved with farmers. Compared to the traditional model of agriculture, the CSA model values ​​farmers better, improves food quality, reduces waste, expands socio-environmental awareness, among other benefits.

How It Works ?

In the CSA model, co-producers receive weekly information on the progress of crops and baskets weekly or monthly. For this, it is necessary to make a financial investment, which works like a subscription.

Ideally, farmers work based on the principles of organic or biodynamic agriculture; and provide food grown in seasonal baskets, that is, which vary according to the natural season of each crop.

Community-Supported Agriculture(CSA)


Despite producing or harvesting practically everything we consume, the people who work at the beginning of the food production chain are the poorest and, oddly enough, represent a significant part of the hungry people. This is because those who most benefit from the sale of food are the intermediaries (usually markets), and not the producers, who keep a much lower share of the value that is obtained from the final consumer.

Principles And Theoretical Concepts Of Csa

One of the characteristics that come closest to theoretical studies on the subject and perhaps the main difference of CSA about other conventional forms of agriculture is the proposal of proximity and partnership between family farmers and consumers. The proposal works to eliminate intermediaries in the food chain and provide a more integrated view of society.

The relationship between consumer and farmer appears so important that, among the countless descriptions about CSA, they are used in research in English, about the consumer who is part, mostly, as “partner” or “Partnership” (BLOEMMEN et al ., 2015) that brings the sense of association, partnership, society. In Brazil, the most used word to designate the CSA consumer is “co-producer” or “associate”

According to Cone and Myhre (2000) and Bougherara et al. (2009), CSA is opposed to the current form of anonymous and distant production, by allowing a feeling of community and trust through the specific connection of the producer with a land space. The relationship of mutual aid and sharing of risks between producer and co-producer, in seasons that hinder the harvest, is an alternative form of the organization compared to the traditional economic model.

Another proposal inherent to this type of productive arrangement is the search for the transition from traditional industrial agriculture to agro ecological agriculture. In Buck and Hayden (2012) and Melo et al. (2018), it was evidenced how the CSA affected the environmental ethics of the case studied, in addition to the potential de-mercantilization of this practice.

Eckert’s (2016) Brazilian study on CSA, based on Karl Polanyi, related the concepts of plurality and coexistence, in addition to the concept of countermovement, as a form of resistance and the recovery of the relative autonomy of individuals. In this sense, it was observed that individuals are not liable to commercialization and its effects, as they articulate themselves to seek protection and gain autonomy and, therefore, in the CSA, other principles of economic regulation coexist, mainly the principle of reciprocity in which the act is privileged over the object and the private institution.

In Bloemmen, Belgium’s CSA was presented from a microeconomic degrowth perspective, which is a critique of the current dominant model and its paradigm of unlimited growth as an indicator of success. The authors started from theories that defend a new production model in which the rational goals of efficiency and maximization do not dominate social rationality, besides bringing to the discussion non-utilitarian and instrumental ways of organizing themselves.

Thus, the CSA proposal seems to bring about the questioning of principles naturalized by the mercantile economy, such as individualism, work for the exchange of wages based on meritocracy, the distancing of the relationship between producer and consumer. From these questions, there is the potential for new meanings to be constructed by the subjects, as well as for other questions to arise to extrapolate the work sphere.…

Community-supported Agriculture(CSA) Farmer Do

Community-supported Agriculture(CSA) Farmer Do

A CSA program offers independent farmers, often small (ours is a five-acre plot), an alternative way to sell their products. It can be managed by the owner of a single farm or by a group of farms that work as a cooperative. No absolute rules are governing the distance a CSA can distribute from the farm (or farms), but most are within a few hours’ drive. For example, the plot of our CSA is about 100 km from our home.

While not a requirement, most CSAs practice sustainable and environmentally responsible agriculture, planting cover crops (instead of using commercial fertilizers) to protect soil ecology and use fewer pesticides than large-scale farmers. Many are certified organic as well. And because CSAs don’t distribute over long distances, they have a smaller carbon footprint than farms that they distribute nationally.

Community-supported Agriculture(CSA) Farmer Do

Share Sizes And Costs

The size of the delivery depends on the size of the share. The stocks generally come in three sizes: full (three-quarters of a bushel), medium (half a bushel), and small (a quarter of a bushel). This gives shareholders some control over the amount of food they receive. For example, my CSA recommends a full share for a regular family of four or “two to three greedy vegetable eaters” in the same house.

Comparing the cost of the CSA product and the store-bought product

As a gift, my wife and I are not paying for our CSA this year. But we like it enough that we will certainly sign up next year. With that in mind, I looked at the possible savings (or costs) of our members. You can perform a similar analysis that applies to your situation, based on the CSA options and the cost of groceries in your area.

Some Examples Of Csa-inspired Meals That We Recently Enjoyed:

Sumi salad, which includes a chopped cabbage head provided by CSA and a chopped carrot provided by CSA, as well as non-CSA ingredients such as ramen noodles, almonds, apple cider vinegar, and chicken

Pumpkin frittata, a quiche-like dish that includes pumpkin, cucumber, and onion provided by CSA, plus non-CSA eggs and spices

Dinner salad, which includes leafy vegetables provided by CSA (butter lettuce, arugula) and onions, plus blue cheese and non-CSA nuts

CSA’s shares are priced so that shareholders cover the cost of food production throughout the season. Farmers who run the program set a price for each share size, as well as a target for the total number of shares sold (based on how much they can grow). Prices are not always proportional to stock sizes, as some farmers offer bulk discounts for larger stocks. And prices can vary for similar amounts of food, as many CSAs try to make a profit and set their prices accordingly. Others see themselves as providers of community service and aim only to balance.

Deliveries And Sales

For logistical simplicity, many CSAs deliver their weekly deliveries to central locations, usually community centers or daycare centers that reserve space for them. For example, we acquired our share in a nursery a few kilometers from our home. Our CSA has several other drop-off points within a short drive from us.

As a shareholder, you can specify which location you want to use. And the chosen CSA may create a new delivery location in response to shareholder demand. On the other hand, some CSAs offer door-to-door deliveries, particularly in sparsely populated areas. If you live far from a central delivery location, look for a CSA that will be delivered to your home or business.

To ensure that they have enough money available to continue during the growing season, CSAs typically offer their shares for sale before the first delivery of the year. If shares run out before the first delivery, CSA will close to new members until the following year. If the shares remain after the start of the season, CSA may continue to offer them at proportional prices. In areas with longer growing seasons, CSAs may offer partial season shares. For example, Atlanta’s Farmers’ Fresh allows its customers to pay for four weeks at a time.…


In recent years, every industry has undergone rapid, extensive and sometimes devastating changes, and the food industry is no exception.

Our world is changing, our population is growing, our climate is changing and our food systems are under more pressure than ever. The demand for food is expected to increase by 50% and the demand for food of animal origin by almost 70%.

Like us farm animals, we started experimentally in the 1960s, but became an industry in Norway in the 1980s and Chile in the 1990s. The salmon farming industry has grown significantly in recent years. 40 years,

The future of us

We recognize that increased crop production is necessary to ensure future protein needs are met, but this must be accompanied by a significant reduction in environmental impact and an improvement in resource efficiency. We recognize our ability and responsibility to drive positive change on a large scale and we are committed to seeking and supporting progress in the pursuit of healthy and sustainable food systems.…

Categories: CSA Orgin

Limits And Challenges Of CSA Experiences

Limits And Challenges Of CSA Experiences

CSA is due to the close relationship between the consumer and the family producer that community participation and involvement becomes possible, even if this means, in some cases, that the consumer will pay a higher price and you will have less control over the variety and quantity of food.

However, while dialogue may be the way out for CSA to find alternative management, it is also a challenge, since it proposes a collaborative vision that clashes with traditional management. This difficulty emerged in some empirical studies on CSA, in which it was found that few consumers are willing to participate actively and enough to establish deeper ties with this community. Without this support, there is a risk of transferring many responsibilities to the farmer, which “can create an overload of small-scale operations and make the system unsustainable”.

The difficulty of collective thinking was also seen in the daily social relationship, which becomes more difficult due to failures in communication or the lack of empathy with the farmer in situations that affect his productivity. This appears, for example, in the reports by Hayden and Buck, when some consumers felt dissatisfied with the experience provided by CSA and had difficulty expressing their dissatisfaction; or even when a farmer does not find solidarity in some members of the group in the face of a divorce situation that affected his production. Thus, the relationship of trust that is one of the main points of the proposal is weakened in the face of these situations.

Limits And Challenges Of CSA Experiences

Still in this sense, the CSA model finds limits when it expands, since one of its differentials concerning the dominant economic model is in the local character, through small-scale production that allows the integration of society. How could it be possible to involve more and more family farmers and consumers without, however, losing the bonds and feelings of deep commitment and trust stimulated in moments of socialization and socialization?

Bloemer exposes the integrated, local, and “degrowth” thinking proposed by the CSA as a differential. This characteristic that guarantees the relationship of trust and cooperation seems to be threatened when co-producers are not committed to their practical activities, which can be aggravated in a moment of accelerated expansion of the model.

These types of challenges encountered by CSA seem pertinent when we understand that there is a search for the propagation of values ​​and rationality contrary to the principles of an instrumental hegemony, which aims, above all, to adapt the means to the objective ends and calculations.

All the resistances and challenges encountered when proposing alternative forms seem to be innumerable and unavoidable as the initiatives try to move away from meanings that sustain and reinforce pre-established imaginary and dominant rationalities. Thus, the resistance found itself appears as an indicator of the need for a constant search and/or improvement of alternative forms that deviate more from the current hegemonic model.

What Does Agriculture Mean?

Whoever chooses to be part of a CSA, ceases to be a consumer and becomes a co-grower or co-grower. What changes is the relationship that the townspeople have with farmers and their food? Unlike a consumer who goes to the market to buy the food presented as products and at a price, a CSA co-farmer finances the entire production of his food knows where he eats from, knows who produced it, and participates in community activities. CSA Brasil created the motto “from the culture of price to the culture of appreciation” which explains in a few words this transformation proposed by the CSA movement.…

Categories: Challenges Of CSA

Origin And Principles Of Csa

Origin And Principles Of Csa

The first CSA in Belo Horizonte appeared in 2015, at the initiative of an idealizer who articulated a group formed by 34 co-producers and two farmers. During the first year, the organization experienced rapid expansion. There were a large number of producers and consumers requesting to be part of the group, totaling more than 200 people, however, the management structure was unable to absorb these requests. An internal dispute then emerged as to how new producers and consumers would become part of the group. The creator and some consumers understood that new requests should be met, and that, based on that, the management process should be structured.

In turn, other co-producers who were part of the management group understood that first they should better structure themselves to, little by little, carry out the expansion. They justified the difficulty in meeting requests for participation mainly because the activity was based on voluntary work. Furthermore, they emphasized that the expansion would risk reducing social ties. A few months later, realizing that the conflict was intensifying and to maintain social cohesion among the members, it was decided to divide the CSA into two smaller groups, each with its form of management, maintaining logistics and delivery location of the baskets.

Origin And Principles Of Csa

After the separation, CSA Minas increased the number of linked consumer families. CSA Nossa Horta, on the other hand, continued to offer family baskets along the same lines as before, with plans to also implement individual baskets. Despite the division, both initiatives have the same letter of principles, which is the adhesion contract approved at the General Meeting held on August 29, 2015, that is, before the group’s separation.

The charter of principles has a clear relationship with the Teikei principles which, despite the different forms of action, are shared by most CSA models.

 These Consist Of:

I – Organic or agroecological production;

II – Sharing responsibilities, risks, and benefits;

III – Assiduity and quality in production;

IV – Relationships of friendship and mutual help;

V – Transparency, collaborative management, and fair price;

VI – Co-responsibility.

However, some differences were observed, both about small changes in the values ​​of the baskets and in the way of dividing these values ​​within the group, as well as in the structure and perception of the best form of management – CSA Nossa Horta approached a horizontal model of management, while CSA Minas condensed management into the figure of its creator.

From Price Culture To Culture Of Appreciation

At CSA, agriculture is supported by the community. The farmer stops selling his products through intermediaries and also relies on the participation of people to organize and finance their production. Whoever chooses to be part of a CSA ceases to be a consumer and becomes a co-farmer.

Trust Between Farmers And Co-farmers

To create a CSA, it is necessary to establish relationships of trust. The farmer presents all the information about his costs and means of production and the community commits to financing, paying in advance for the food that will be produced. The minimum commitment period is usually 6 months.

Living Point

The food is distributed among the community members delivered to Living Points near their homes, weekly. Co-farmers are responsible for collecting their products according to the number of quotas they have. A quota provides for approximately 10 items of vegetables, fruits, and vegetables.

What’s In The Csa Basket?

A basket provides for approximately 7 to 10 items containing leaves, roots, vegetables, and fruits. The number of items may vary in each CSA and is an agreement to be established between members of the community. Other complementary products such as bread, eggs, cheeses, honey, and whatever else the community can support and wish to support may be part of the CSA.

What Are The Farmer’s Responsibilities?

At CSA, the farmer is committed to sharing information about his real production costs, needs, and production capacities (quantities and diversity) transparently. Besides, it establishes a routine for harvesting and distributing food at the point of coexistence. The property’s doors are always open to co-farmers and family members so that they can visit and discover the production area of ​​which they are part of. The farmer also undertakes to respect the production methods agreed with the co-growers, informing the co-farmers, whenever necessary, of the measures and interventions that are necessary for maintaining production or expansion.…

Categories: CSA Orgin

Starting Your CSA

Starting Your CSA

It is a successful farming system that has been spreading all over the world. CSA or Community-Supported Agriculture means Community Supported Agriculture. It consists of local and solidary partnerships between producers and consumers. 

Among Several Advantages Of This Purchase Model, The Following Stand Out:

– Contribute to the establishment of the farmer in the countryside, generating income and avoiding rural exodus;

– Know the origin of the products that are consumed;

– Fair price for those who sell and those who buy because there are no intermediaries;

– Quality of food to be harvested just before delivery;

– Provide an associative and collaborative economy;

– Rescue and encourage rural culture for the families involved.

Community-supported farming actions, commonly called CSAs, are a way for farmers and consumers to come together to help farms combine production with their markets. CSA subscribers pre-purchase a portion of the farm’s growing season in exchange for products for a specified number of weeks in the season. Some farms have actions of spring, summer, autumn, and even winter. There is usually a delivery site or sites where CSA members pick up their weekly shares or they arrive directly at the farm.

Starting Your CSA

Starting Your CSA

Once you’ve decided to start a CSA, it’s time to set it up. I am assuming that you already have a farm and are producing some vegetables, perhaps selling at a farmers market and/or to a local grocery store or food cooperative or restaurant. Maybe you’re even attacking vegetables. The first step in starting a CSA is to think hard about how you want to structure your shares. How many weeks will you have in your season? (It’s probably a good idea to start with just the summer season and add more as demand grows). 

Next, you will want to consider the logistics. Many CSAs require full prepayment, but some are offering the option of sending payment over several months for a slightly higher cost. Although you don’t get as much cash flow benefit, it can make the difference between selling a stock or not, so carefully consider whether you can handle the cash flow difference in exchange for potentially more customers.

You will also need to find out how customers will receive their shares. Will they come to the farm? Will you organize delivery sites? Will you deliver your shares to the subscribers’ homes? You could even have the farmers’ market being your pick-up spot.

Who will pack the boxes or bags and when will it be done? You will need to make sure that your product is harvested as close to departure time as possible. You may need to refrigerate your CSA boxes until collection. Think about whether you will require shareholders to return the empty box from the previous week to minimize their investment in packaging, or whether shareholders provide their bags and pack their shares when they arrive.…

Categories: Challenges Of CSA

CSA- Supports Agriculture

CSA- Supports Agriculture

CSA is a Community that Supports Agriculture, a model in which consumers take the risks of production and share the results of planting, in a system of collaboration with farmers.

CSA Atibaia has existed for two years and two months and is composed of 40 families. Participants pay monthly to have a basket of produce grown in a garden near their homes.

Interestingly, it was a French agronomy intern who brought to the country a mixture of Teikei and the CSA program, which in France alone has around six thousand groups. The internship ended at the Center of Agroecology of Paraná, but the agronomist Manuel Delafoulhouze did not leave the country any more – nor from the Cestas Solidárias project – because he ended up marrying a Brazilian woman.

In common, CSA and the Cestas Solidárias project seek to promote close cooperation between those who produce and those who receive the products. The consumer undertakes to finance the agricultural activity, with advance payment, and the producer undertakes to deliver a certain amount of organic products religiously.

The name CSA is attributed to farmer Jan Vander Tuin, who, in the 1980s, did a first experiment in community-supported agriculture near Zurich, Switzerland. He followed the principles of biodynamic agriculture, which is based on Rudolf Steiner’s ideas of anthroposophy. This explains why many CSAs originate in communities where there are schools that adopt Waldorf pedagogy, which is also based on anthroposophy.

This form of organization of CSAs was spread by practitioners of organic farming in expansion in the United States in the 1990s and 2000s.

Today there are CSAs in several countries, including Japan, the United States, France, China, and Brazil, maintained by families and also by restaurants in large cities.

Participative planning:  Matres’ activities start in a participatory way in meetings and dialogues about the desires and motivations of the people involved, as well as the reality of the group that demanded the work.

Basic CSA Course:  the course will be an introduction to the philosophical principles and practical tools for forming communities that support agriculture.

Participatory Diagnosis: A survey of the productive capacity and income needs of farmers interested in creating the CSA will be carried out. The diagnosis involves fieldwork and workshops to discuss the results.

Proposed Scenarios for the CSA: based on the participatory diagnosis, operating scenarios for the CSA will be drawn up with the group. The work involves CSA cost planning and the quota value.

Mobilization of Coagriculturists: the work consists of identifying agriculturists, holding an awareness-raising meeting and lecture, monitoring the visit to farmers, preparing the term of commitment, and facilitating a meeting on the functioning of the CSA.

Implementation of CSA: support to the elaboration of Terms of Commitment and organization of the first day of deliveries.


To meet the objective, two procedures were used: the documentary research and the application of the questionnaire.

To characterize the agricultural marketing model of Sustainable Agriculture by the Community, we preliminarily researched articles

scientific and CSA websites to better understand the subject. Then, we selected the articles that best explained the topic and supported by

data obtained from the websites of some of the CSAs that contextualizes the scenario. From that, we started to structure the questionnaire that gave us

to understand the marketing issues that we did not find in the texts, such as how the relationship

between supply and demand, economic viability, and also its organizational structure. Our interest was to understand specificities that

no bibliography we found described.

Then we applied the pilot questionnaire to find out possible mistakes in the wording of the survey, such as the complexity of the questions and

unnecessary questions. This pilot questionnaire was conducted in-person to the interviewee, in this case, a producer responsible for a CSA.…

Categories: CSA Orgin