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.
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.
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