Community-run Multi-farm CSAcommunity run pic

How they work

This model differs to multi-farm CSA in that the produce is distributed through a community group ('Group'), rather than directly by the growers.

In consultation with the growers, a year's produce is planned by the co-ordinator (on behalf of the Group). Growers nominate their preferred crops and if amenable, may also be allocated some extra varieties.

An agreement is made between growers and the Group, which gives the grower security that the crop will be bought and defines the commitment the grower makes to produce enough for the program.

Distribution via weekly subscriptions is co-ordinated by the Group, which takes a percentage of the income to cover costs. Any profit generated by the Group is used to support growers, improve the business, and promote CSA philosophies.

The Community-run multi-farm CSA model is particularly compatible with areas that have little commercial agriculture, because the deficit of vegetable farmers can be compensated for by the banding together of a number of small-scale growers, who may not have the resources to initiate an ordinary multi-farm CSA.

Advantages (of community-run multi-farm over multi-farm)

Disadvantages

* These points may also be the case for multi-farm CSA programs, which often employ staff or single-farm CSAs where weekly pick-ups are not at the farm

Possible variations