Community Supported Agriculture in Europe

Overview-CSA-277x300A comprehensive overview of Community Supported Agriculture in Europe has been released by Urgenci – The International Network for Community Supported Agriculture. 

The report aims to give insight into the state of Community Supported Agriculture across Europe, exploring the range of emerging food distribution systems, particularly direct marketing and producer or consumer led models, from 22 countries. It explores examples of community initiatives in some detail, with focus on historical, cultural, legal and economic contextualisation to make it possible for groups to adapt and learn from and with each other.

“Each cultural group that adopts CSA shapes it differently to suit its own historical circumstances and each individual CSA is site-specific, modeled to fit the producers, their land, their beliefs, their customers and markets.” Elizabeth Henderson.

Each regional account has been researched to a format collaboratively developed by the contributors, themselves local representatives of a their regional movements.

“This decentralized and multi-sited approach has sought to strengthen citizen-led innovation and has successfully organized networks of knowledge holders on the basis of a more horizontal and egalitarian logic, working independently from the State and the Market. Established and newly emergent networks of citizen-led research and innovation have thus generated new knowledge and insights on farming practices, products, fields, landscapes, and the many ‘living campuses’ from where people derive their livelihoods and culture. By re-embedding citizens in the production and validation of knowledge, the process that has generated this report is an example of how research can be de-institutionalised for autonomous learning and action.” Michel Pimbert

The report focusses not only the practical and pragmatic but also the meaning of community supported agriculture, also known as Solidarity Agriculture in Austria, Partnership Agriculture in Finland, and Peasant Agriculture in France. Across the continent the concept is built on common pillars of mutual assistance, solidarity, agroecology, quality and popular education.

The report is freely available for download: Overview-of-Community-Supported-Agriculture-in-Europe