Community Supported Agriculture Network have joined over 60 organisations to accelerate action for less and better meat and dairy. They have joined Biodynamic Association, LEAF, Nature Friendly Farmers Network, Pasture-fed Livestock Association, RSPCA Assured and Soil Association to build and strengthen the alliances ability to influence and learn from farmers.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a radical approach to the production and supply of food where the responsibilities, risks and rewards of farming are shared between communities and producers. Consumers, often described as CSA members, are closely linked to the farm and the production of their food, and provide support that goes beyond a straight forward marketplace exchange of money for goods. This involvement may be through ownership or investment in the farm or business, sharing the costs of production, accepting a share in the harvest or providing labour.
There are currently over 100 CSA farms across the UK.
The most common CSA produce is vegetables, but they can also include fruit, meat, flowers, herbs, dairy and eggs as well as fuel and fibre such as wool or wood. Farmers receive a more stable and secure income and closer connection with their community, and consumers benefit by eating fresh, healthy, local food, feeling more connected to the land where their food is grown and learning new skills. Because CSAs supply their members direct they also provide high quality produce at more affordable prices.
CSA empowers farmers and communities to work together to produce good local food using agroecological methods. It also keeps waste and food miles to a minimum, builds communities and cares for the land. CSA guarantees a fair deal for everyone: farmer, customer and environment.
Community Supported Agriculture is about eating well in a way which cares for the planet, its people and nature. This means eating good food that is delicious and healthy, and which respects the planet and natural systems too. At the root of CSA is a commitment to agroecological farming, reduced waste and social justice. The only way to achieve this is through eating more vegetables and less meat, and where we do eat meat eating local meat which has been farmed in a way which cares for the animals but also cares for the environment and acts against climate change. Our meat producing CSAs give people the opportunity to understand the message of less and better in a really hands on way and to take an active part in living their lives accordingly.
Ben Raskin, Chair of the CSA Network UK has said ‘The Community Supported Agriculture Network UK are delighted to become members of the Eating Better Alliance. We strongly support the alliance’s aim of accelerating action for less and better meat and dairy. We believe this will have benefits for human health, the environment, animal welfare and social justice. A move towards Community Supported Agriculture is one way to achieve these aims.’