Summer 2017: CSA Network UK celebrates its last two years growing the community supported agriculture (CSA) movement in the UK. CSA farms reconnect the public with local food and support ecological farmers.
Maresa Bossano, CSA Network UK co-ordinator says: “The growth in the number of CSAs setting up over the last two years, as well the number of those contacting the CSA Network UK for advice, shows the public appetite for fresh, local food, as well as the dedication of small farmers producing sustainable food.”
CSA Network UK is reaching out to new supporters this summer.
Maresa Bossano continues: “With its abundance of fresh produce, summer is a great time to encourage supporters to join. The CSA Network UK is open to anyone who supports a fairer local food system. Supporters get discounts as well as the knowledge they are supporting the real food revolution.”
Achievements 2015 – 2017:
- At least 15 new CSAs have started up
- Nearly 100 CSA farms listed on the CSA Network UK map
- Annual national CSA events raise awareness of Community Supported Agriculture
- Mentoring programme provides one-to-one advice to new and existing CSAs
- Training and networking events held at CSAs nationwide.
What is a CSA?
The CSA movement began in the UK in the late-1990s to counter the negative effects of industrial agriculture by reconnecting people with fresh local food produced with ecological farming methods.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) comes in many shapes and sizes including one-acre shared fields, subscription veg box schemes, pig shares, and community-owned farms.
The CSA model connects people to an ecological farm though a membership scheme which supports the farmer both with finance and community involvement. In return, members receive weekly fresh produce, and opportunities for volunteering, training, children’s activities, and celebratory events to mark the seasons.
For case studies, images, quotes, interviews and a PDF of 2015-2017 achievements, please contact Elisabeth (0777 399 8642) or Maresa (07975 829706).
Notes to Editors
Inspired by examples from France, Japan and the US, the number of community-supported farms in England grew from a handful to around 80 with support of the Making Local Food Work programme 2007 – 2012.
Making Local Food Work was a five-year Big Lottery-funded project, co-supported by the Soil Association, Sustain and other ecological farming organisations. Post-funding, the Soil Association and others carried on to develop the network.
CSA Network UK launched in Stroud in December 2013 as a new organisation, to promote community supported agriculture and support CSA schemes. It has been operating independently of the Soil Association since April 2015.
CSA Network UK has three core values: people care, earth care and fair share. CSA Network UK is one of over 80 food and farming organisations supporting A People’s Food Policy, launched 26 June 2017 in response to the start of Brexit negotiations.
Is there a CSA farm near you? Find your nearest community supported agriculture farm.