Community Supported Agriculture

vegetables in basketsA method of marketing used by some fruit, vegetable and livestock producers is known as community supported agriculture (CSA). A grower contacts interested buyers at the beginning of the season and offers shares to purchase. Customers buy the shares or subscriptions for the season. Payment for the season is preferably made up front.

As fruit and vegetable crops are harvested during the growing season, they are delivered directly or to key distribution points each week for customers to pick up. Some farms allow their customers to provide labor in exchange for part or all of the value of the subscription. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture (2014), more than 144,530 U.S. farms reported marketing products through a CSA.

Sources

Community Supported Ag, National Ag LIbrary, USDA.

2012 Census of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA, 2014.

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