(Photo Credit: Sarka Krcilkova)

Article by Urgenci


Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership whereby the common goal of participating actors, members and producers is to embed the direct selling of local products into lasting human relationships. CSA partnerships are  built around a common understanding of social challenges or even a shared political vision. However, such an ambition should not overlook the material basis of CSA. On the contrary, there is still a very concrete expectation as a CSA member: a share of fresh, organic or agroecological local food. Is that basic promise met?


It’s time to get back to the basics: we’re taking a closer look at the content of the veggie box in a multiplicity of CSA initiatives. By monitoring the produce during a whole year, we hope to avoid the bias of seasonality. Although this approach may seem basic, it is in fact quite crucial and will be interpreted in different ways. To be able to combine it with other information, one objective will also be to gather key data about each CSA farm involved.

Call for participation in our survey on the actual content of CSA shares

In order to collect reliable data about the content of the weekly share of vegetables in a large number of CSA initiatives, we are looking for motivated CSA members and/or CSA farmers who can monitor the content of their share during an entire year (January-December 2023).

What kind of data do we want to collect?

  • The quantity of each crop in each weekly share, but also their quality (type of seeds used)
  • The content of the share over a long period of time (one year), because of the production’s seasonality
  • Only veggies are considered because they are the foundation of most CSA partnerships. Other types of production are probably not as impacted by the choice to sell through a CSA
  • Basic data from the producing farms (incl. cultivated area and number of staff) will also be needed to be able to measure yields, waste, loss

What are the advantages for you of being part of this project?

  • Participation in a study that should showcase the professionalism and high productivity of CSA farms
  • Contribution to the identification of CSA farm’s assets: agrobiodiversity, drastic decrease of food waste and food loss, just to name a few
  • Free participation in focus groups where the results will be shared and discussed with other CSA groups, farms, and experts
  • Contribution to a study of CSA’s resilience in the current food crisis and its value during ongoing major challenges like skyrocketing inflation
  • A participation allowance of up to 100 EUR

Are you interested to be part of this survey? Do you have questions? Please contact…

Jocelyn Parot: jocelyn.parot at agrar.uni-giessen.de