Community Supported Agriculture: What is it and Why is it Important?

Community Supported Agriculture box on doorstep

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a system that allows for consumers and producers to build a closer relationship within the food system. 

In this model, consumers directly purchase shares of the farms’ production at the beginning of a growing season. In return, consumers receive the freshest offerings of seasonal fruits, vegetables, or other products that the farmer has to offer throughout the season. 

Early and advanced payment offers an unmatched financial boost for farmers. This investment allows for purchase of farm equipment, seeds, provides sustainable wages throughout the growing season, and so much more. Not only does it contribute to more financial security throughout the year, but also ensures better prices for the consumer. 

A crucial aspect of the CSA model is the concept of shared risk. When consumers pay upfront for their products, they not only enjoy the benefits of lower cost for a higher quality product, they also take on some of the risk that farmers around the world experience every season. Whether it is a crop lost to disease or pests or economic hardship brought on by political unrest, when consumers take on some of the risk it takes some of the burden from the farmers. 

Some of the risks coffee farmers have faced in the last few years have been climate catastrophes such as hurricanes in Nicaragua and soil deterioration in Ethiopia, as well as political and social unrest in Columbia and even global shipping delays affect farmers at origin. Each CSA subscription that is purchased offers a financial buffer against the impact that these events have on coffee farmers and farms. 

Even in a year of unprecedented economic, social, and environmental hardship, CSA models have shown unparalleled resilience and growth during market instability. In a time when Americans are faced with the instability of the global supply chain many turned to their local farmers in a show of tremendous solidarity. In 2020, Pachamama saw more than 650 new subscribers make an investment in coffee farmers and farmers all over the world. North American interest in local CSA programs spiked tremendously in March 2020. 

When you purchase a subscription at Pachamama Coffee, you are offering unmatched financial support to coffee farmers. Your monthly delivery of freshly roasted coffee not only represents a product curated by farmer owners, but also reflects the tremendous financial investment you have made in the famer owners.

When possible it is always the most economically, socially and environmentally sustainable option to support your local farmers. At Pachamama Coffee we are dedicated to connecting consumers to all kinds of CSA and cooperatives. We work closely with Farm Fresh to You to provide coffee in their fresh farm boxes. Bran and Ash, who make our delicious pastries that you can find at any of our coffee bars, offer a bread box CSA where you can get freshly made bread delivered to you. 

To find out more about CSA programs in your area please visit https://www.localharvest.org/locations/ 


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