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.
So, in December 2013, we launched the new CSA Network UK at a conference in Stroud with over 100 people. We began recruiting members and ran a crowdfunding campaign raising £7,686 and, combined with further support from the A Team Foundation, we started to build the new network as an independent organisation. We are a co-operative, owned and led by our members – CSA farms.
The Network is not only for CSA farms, anyone can join if you support our vision of new relationship between farmers and consumers based on mutual trust and openness.