The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Network UK has launched its new website dedicated to community supported agriculture [1]. The website will support the growth of the CSA movement in the UK by connecting and advising farmers, growers and consumers and promoting the CSA farming model to national and local Government and policymakers.

Maresa Bossano, Network Coordinator says; “The launch of our website marks a new and exciting phase for the Network as it provide us with a platform to raise the profile of the CSA farming model in the UK and the fantastic work of our member farms, who consistently prove that both farmers and consumers can benefit considerably from forming lasting partnerships.”

The CSA Network UK, established in December 2013, is a cooperative membership organisation that brings together CSA farms to connect, exchange their skills and knowledge and promote a fairer, more transparent model of food production, where the risks and rewards are shared [2].

The CSA model has seen a rise in popularity in the UK, with the Network responding to demand by farmers and growers following an initial scoping project run by the Soil Association [3]. Interest developed for the creation of a dedicated network, to connect existing CSA farms and help to promote and build the model more widely. In April 2014, the newly established Network ran a successful crowdfunding campaign, raising £7,686 which, combined with further support from the A Team Foundation, has allowed the network to take its first steps towards achieving its goal.

Founding board member, Robert Simpson says; “I am delighted to announce the launch of the CSA Network UK website. I believe that the CSA model allows consumers to take back control of their food. The website will be instrumental in raising awareness of CSA and will allow us to demonstrate the wide range of benefits associated with CSA farms.”

The CSA model is about bringing local culture back into agriculture. CSA farms have the potential to play a greater role in the provision of sustainable food in the UK and to deliver a whole range of additional benefits to communities, including the increased wellbeing of participants, skills development, and provision of local employment and volunteering opportunities.
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For press enquiries please contact:
Maresa Bossano, Network coordinator – csanetworkuk@gmail.com
Gillian Brooks, Communications coordinator – 07791173406/ glbrooks1@gmail.com

Notes to editors

[1] Website URL: communitysupportedagriculture.org.uk

[2] The CSA Network UK
The CSA Network UK is the only organisation working solely to promote CSA. The CSA Network UK was launched in December 2013. However, our roots date back to a five year project run by the Soil Association through the Big Lottery funded Making Local Food Work programme. The project aimed to promote CSA as a way of reconnecting people with where their food comes from. Inspired by examples from the USA, France and Japan the project saw the number of CSA farms in England grow from a handful to around 80 with an estimated 150 start-ups, in just five years.
At the end of the project, CSA farm members decided that this great work should continue, in the form of an independent organisation for community supported agriculture in the UK. Thanks to funding from the A Team Foundation we formed a core group of beacon CSA farms and supportive organisations and held regional meetings with CSA farms to find out what they needed, what they could offer and what a network would look like.
For more information regarding the CSA Network UK visit ww.communitysupportedagriculture.org.uk
For further information regarding the Soil Association, visit www.soilassociation.org

[3] Community supported agriculture
Community supported agriculture (CSA) means any food, fuel or fibre producing initiative where the community shares the risks and rewards of production, whether through ownership, investment, sharing the costs of production, or provision of labour.

In a CSA, there is an understanding of mutual support between the farmer/grower and members. For example, consumer members may commit in advance, in cash or kind, to buying their food (or a farm product) directly from the farm. In return they have the opportunity to influence how the CSA is run.

For more information about the CSA and its benefits, visit http://communitysupportedagriculture.org.uk/what-is-csa