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What is a CSA?

The CSA model directly connects farmers and members (customers). It’s a mutually beneficial partnership. 

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to support local agriculture. It promotes sustainable farming practices and gives customers fresh, seasonal produce.

UK CSAs commit to the principles held in our Charter.

So how does it work?

Most commonly in the UK, CSA is subscription-based model:

  • Members (subscribers) commit to a seasonal or yearly subscription with a local farm, paying an upfront fee or instalments.
  • This financial support helps the farm cover operational costs and mitigates the risks associated with agriculture.

Regular shares of the harvest:

  • Members receive regular shares of the farm’s harvest throughout the growing season, typically weekly or bi-weekly.
  • Shares consist of fresh, seasonal produce, promoting a connection between members and the local agricultural cycles.

A direct relationship between farmer and members:

  • CSA creates a direct relationship between farmers and members. These often involve volunteering, farm visits, community events, or online interactions.
  • This direct connection promotes transparency, trust, and a sense of community as members get to understand where their food comes from and how it’s produced.

In summary

CSA is a great way to support local farmers, strengthen communities, and encourage environmentally conscious food choices. It’s like joining your own farming community, which supplies seasonal and sustainable produce.

CSAs don’t necessarily sell just fruit and vegetables. There are meat CSAs, flower CSAs, woodfuel CSAs and even fish CSAs.

If you want to see how some typical CSAs run, check out our case studies here.

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