How CSA Farms Benefit Communities
When groups of farmers are brought together to take advantage of market opportunities within their larger area in need of their produce; pooling together fresh produce among themselves for the common goal of approaching the market as a unit, This is the birth of Community Shared Agriculture, often referred to as CSA. The CSA model is to connect production with consumption in such a way that consumers list themselves to a group of CSA farms for reliable and affordable supply of agro-products. The structure of CSA is such that there is equity for all the farmers in the circuit and consumers are not left stranded at any one time.
Funding for CSA farms is generated externally by individuals or groups of families who select a farm or a group of farms to whom they advance financial support to engage in intensive production of particular crops and animal; The CSA funding is modeled in the form of shares and subscriptions are forwarded in advance in support of produce in a particular year. The shareholders will rarely be in direct contact with the farms but hope to get a return in value of their investment at the end of durations through the efforts of the CSA management. It is the duty of the management to organize farmers and to liaise with the market, raising listings of consumers to whom produce is efficiently delivered on a regular basis.
The consumer end is ordered in such a way that families can either pick products directly from farms or deliveries made in schedules. The delivery is structured variously such as, weekly deliveries for the entire year at a cost and the subscription can be paid monthly, quarterly or yearly; whichever is comfortable with the consumer. This can be very valuable to them, especially in low seasons such as winter when scarcities are likely to occur in many places.
In order that a consumer joins the community he/she will have to fill a form that defines his contact and location including the cash type of CSA subscription that is desirable, as well as whether he/she plans to receive deliveries or to pick them up themselves from the farms. In some delivery cases the customer is away. It is important that they make prior arrangements on how best to deal in order to avoid wastage. Many CSA farms produce organic foods which cost higher than contemporary products, due to higher costs of annual certification in addition to the higher cost of grains and seeds. The livestock are also slow to mature, raising the cost to the consumer.
CSA farms aim to close the gap between supply and demand in communities. On top of that they are valuable for the Organic products that have been proved to be a lot better than the conventional ones. The function of CSAs therefore results in many healthier communities supported by consistent supply of produce throughout the year irrespective of the ravages due to difficult seasons. The collective production approach to farming as well rewards Farmers and brings motivation to produce even more, and that certainly benefits consumers in terms of better pricing.