Real CSAs are in a crises because savvy entrepreneurs have established numerous non-local, non-wholesome non-quality food distrubution schemes that have pushed Real CSAs out of the very market they created. Consumers and small sustainable farms are the big losers here. The CSA Charter is a way Real CSAs can identify themselves to local consumers. The CSA Charter is a way that consumers can make sure that they spend their food dollars in a way that supports better health and a better environment.
CSA experts Elizabeth Henderson and Steven McFadden in conversation about the new CSA Charter.
NEWS – For immediate release
February 24, 2017 Press Release
Launch Date Approaches for Historic CSA Farm Charter in the USA and Canada
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms across the United States and Canada are setting roots more deeply in the land as they unite under a community-developed CSA Charter that provides a clear definition of what CSA is all about.
With 30 years of history and development, over 7,500 healthy, sustainable community farms have been established in the US, and many thousands more in Canada. These sustainable farms are directly networked with hundreds of thousands of households in the towns and cities where they are based and provide weekly shares of fresh, healthy, locally-grown food.
Together, regional networks and independent CSAs in the USA and Canada are banding together to launch an innovative and strengthening Charter for CSAs. The Charter will be inaugurated on CSA Sign-up Day, February 24, 2017.
CSAs that endorse the Charter are making a public commitment to uphold the principles and practices delineated in the Charter. It will provide a window of transparency for member households and for farmers, helping define and clarify what CSA farms are all about.
In the words of Elizabeth Henderson, CSA farmer and author of Sharing the Harvest, “CSA is a tremendously flexible concept for consumer-farmer connections. It’s an alternative system of distribution based on community values. The economics of direct sales make this a win-win solution for farmers and farm members. The farmer gets a decent price and the member pays less, since there is no middleman.”
“For the farmer,” she added, “CSA offers the possibility of a broad support group. Those groups are composed of local people who know about the farm, who genuinely care about it’s survival, and who are willing to share the farmer’s risks and rewards.
“In reciprocity, CSA farm members have the opportunity to eat fresh, healthy food, to connect with the earth, to know and trust in the people who grow their food, to deepen their understanding of seasonal eating, to support the local economy, and to take an empowered stance of accepting responsibility for one of our most basic needs.”
Anthony Graham, a farmer for 30 years at the Temple-Wilton Community Farm in New Hampshire, said, “When we started the Temple Wilton Community Farm, we were interested in community and in the ‘culture’ of agriculture. What we were attempting to set up was a way for a community of people to support the existence of a farm through good times and bad by making pledges of financial support over the course of one year. By agreeing to support the existence of the farm our members became co-farmers.”
You can find the full Charter for CSAs in the USA and Canada along with background information and a list of the CSAs that endorse it on http://csaday.info/csa-charter/.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Henderson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 585-764-8471.
Elizabeth Henderson co-authored The Real Dirt and Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture. She farms in Newark, New York, and has been involved in CSA farming for more than 15 years.
Steven McFadden, an independent journalist and a long time advocate for CSAs and sustainable life style. He is author, with Trauger Groh of Farms of Tomorrow Revisited: Community-Supported Farms – Farm Supported Communities, a primary text of the CSA movement.
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