Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a creative economic model started by Japanese mothers who were concerned about rising food imports and the loss of arable land. A CSA is a partnership between a farm and a community of supporters (shareholders) which fosters a relationship that is mutually beneficial in the production and consumption of food.
In essence this bond is created when shareholders cover part of the farm’s operating expenses by purchasing a share of the season’s harvest in advance. In return, the farm provides a regular pick-up of fresh, seasonal produce throughout the growing season. The idea of Community Supported Agriculture has been around for about 30 years, and there are nearly 3500 CSA’s across the USA.
This economic model continues to encourage local, environmentally sustainable food production practices that are mutually beneficial to farmers and shareholders alike. While the principle of sharing risks and rewards between farmers and shareholders links all CSA’s, each CSA will have its own unique way of operating.