Many of the growing and livestock projects that TGL support can be described as either 'community growing' or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)'. Where the community is in the driving seat of the project and can themselves be called growers or producers, we are calling these projects 'community growing'. This differentiates these projects from other kinds of community relationships with particular producers which might best be called CSA
Tamar Grow Local is working with a number of farmers and other producers in the Tamar Valley to provide opportunities for communities to get closer to the food they eat, to know exactly where it comes from, and to understand the conditions under which it is grown.
The relationship here is one of mutual support, as communities also support local producers by providing reliable income, often set in advance.
Community Supported Agriculture means different things to different people, from being any agricultural project in which a community is active, to describing a particular kind of risk-sharing relationship between producer and consumer.
How its works:
Consumers contract to buy produce from a particular farmer at an agreed rate, often agreed in advance. Where the quantities are fixed, the rate is usually below the open retail price for the produce but above the price that the farmer would expect to receive from a wholesaler or other intermediary. Often, rather than buying a fixed weight of produce, consumers will instead be purchasing a share of what the farmer produces, for example, one twentieth of the vegetable harvest, or half a pig. The harvest might be a huge amount or might be less than expected (due to bad weather for example) in this way the risk inherent in agricultural production is shared by both producer and consumer, rather than solely borne by the producers. It is important to realise that bountiful harvests are also shared in this way and a good year for the farmer will also be a good year for the consumer. The result overall is generally a good price for consumers and a direct relationship with a local farmer. The benefit for the farmer is a predictable and reliable income, and a direct relationship with the local community. By sharing the risk, communities support local agriculture.
CSA projects we are currently involved in include the Half-a-Pig CSA and Harrowbarrow & Metherell Agricultural Society (HAMAS).