Benefits of CSA to Farmers and Community Members
In establishing the Community Supported Agriculture in New York City program (CSA in NYC), Just Food wanted to create a purchasing model that benefits both the farmer and the CSA members. While the benefits of CSA are varied and personal, the following are some common benefits of participating in community supported agriculture. Many of these benefits are not just for New York City CSA members and farmers, but extend to CSA participants across the country.
The Benefits of CSA for Farmers:
- The farmer receives payment for the entire season upfront.
- The farmer knows their exact income from CSA at the beginning of the season.
- Customers build a direct relationship with their farmer – allowing the farmer to get direct feedback about their products.
- The farmer has the ability to build a returning customer base, year after year, through a direct relationship.
- The farmer can choose what veggies to give each week as long as there is a variety. The farmer works with the city group to decide the share price, size, and content.
- Growers have the opportunity to educate their members over time about seasonality and the realities of farming.
- The farmer has more time to spend on the farm, concentrating on growing the crops instead of marketing the produce.
- Farmers can grow with greater security by sharing the risks and rewards of farming along with their consumers. If there is crop failure, farmers can skip that crop in the CSA share instead of losing that income at market. Likewise, if there is a bumper crop, CSA members can enjoy the bounty of the farm.
CSA Members Choose to Participate in CSA to:
- Support a local farmer who is part of the regional economy.
- Have access to fresh, local food that has been grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
- Build a community among CSA members.
- Address communities’ limited access to fresh, affordable and nutritious foods.
- Educate NYC community members about regional farming, the food system, and how they can eat healthfully and seasonally.
- Support farms that are growing food sustainably.
- Get more in touch with seasonality of produce and to make a connection to food and the land.
- Have access to a variety of vegetables that they may not be able to find in the neighborhood stores.