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.
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.
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.