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.