The Evolution of the CSA by Darlene Wolnick, Farmers Market Coalition
In many areas of the country, CSAs are reporting declining sales and fewer number of returning customers. The issue is examined in a two-part blog series. Part 1 examines the origins of the CSA movement in the U.S and the current pressures facing CSAs, including the CSA definition, the explosion of box programs run by non-farms, and the barriers to using benefit programs as CSA members. Part 2 takes a look at existing information to offer a path forward for family farms and local producers.
Community Supported Agriculture – New Models for Changing Markets from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and University of Kentucky
The CSA model has evolved significantly as entrepreneurs and market forces have opened opportunities for the use of the model in ways quite unlike the early CSA operations. New products, season extension, multi-farm collaborations, new shareholder groups, marketing collaborations with different organizations, innovative aggregation and delivery strategies, new urban production connections, and health and wellness alliances are among the current trends reshaping the CSA business.