Monday, July 5, 2010

New name?

Recent years seem to have seen a regional co-opting of the term CSA. Farmers I know have started to refer to these as "Third party CSAs." Although, these company's (because they are not farms) are sourcing their product from many farms with no direct relationship (other then buying and selling) to the agricultural process.

This should be differentiated from farms which offer a few items from other farms to slightly expand offerings. I like to say if you do not know your farmer you do not belong to a CSA. However as CSA means "Community Supported Agriculture" almost anyone selling any produce could claim the community (their customers) are supporting agriculture.

So maybe CSAs should find a new term? One not so easily co-opted. The orginal name for CSAs in Japan where they originated was Teikei. The defination of the term is a system of community-supported agriculture in where consumers purchase food directly from farmers. But, honestly, I don't even know how to say Teikei.

I found another acronym - LSPPC, Local Solidarity Partenerhips between Producers and Consumers. Maybe that is a harder term to take over? It certainly is longer then CSA, and not as easy for members to say "I belong to a CSA" then "I belong to a LSPPC." Sounds like you should be rescuing animals or protesting in northern Ireland. IT does sound a little militant.

But maybe instead of all of us changing our names, we should just continue to educate our members and the greater community about local agriculture. And while there is a valid place for local food delivery services and "Box schemes" (as they are called in England,) I will stand by my basic assertion. If you don't know the person who grows your food, you do not belong to a CSA.

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