Community Supported Agriculture groups join forces for long term success
Community supported agriculture (CSA) groups, from as far afield as China are gathering in South Wales on the 23rd February to join forces and work in partnership to ensure their long term success. Organised by the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens (FCFCG) and Organic Centre Wales, the event is taking place at Coed Hills Rural Art space in Cowbridge. This meeting will also see the launch of a 'CSA survival guide', created by The Organic Research Centre on behalf of Organic Centre Wales.
The number of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) projects in Wales and England has increased quickly over the past five years, as people become more interested in where their food comes from. This event will bring together like minded people, involved in CSA projects to share knowledge, support each other and work together.
Many CSA projects rely on short lived grants and ensuring the long term future of projects is very much on the agenda. The meeting in Cowbridge will see the launch of a 'CSA survival guide'. The guide, which was drawn up by the Organic Research Centre on behalf of Organic Centre Wales, is based on the experience of the CSA projects across the globe with a particular focus on Wales. By highlighting common factors shared by projects that both succeed and those that fail, it provides invaluable guidance for projects of all sizes and models.
'CSA is an idea whose time has come' said Tony Little from Organic Centre Wales. 'It gives people access to organic and sustainably produced food at fair prices; it provides more secure markets for producers; it helps build links with local communities and gets people out into the fresh air and exercising. The movement is at a pivotal stage in its development and it needs to pull together to move onto the next stage of development.'
Rupert Dunn, South West Wales Development Worker for FCFCG added; 'Community growing projects are becoming more focused on generating an income and not being so reliant on grant funding. CSA offers a great opportunity to explore selling produce, get more people involved on the land, growing food, and creating employment in the process. The UK gathering in the splendid surrounds of Coed Hills will be an opportunity not to be missed to learn from inspiring example, and who knows, maybe even return to start one yourself?'
The event is free and is for anyone who is involved in CSA or would like to start a project.
For more information and to book a place visit www.farmgarden.org.uk or contact Rupert Dunn: Rupert@farmgarden.org.uk Tel 01834 869927
Notes to Editors:
Community Supported Agriculture:
CSA projects enable customers and communities to work in partnership with farmers in producing local food. The precise nature of these partnerships vary; it could be simply be a commitment to buy produce from a particular farmer, to be involved with the growing or harvesting, or helping with the administration and marketing. The overall principle is that people make an investment of some kind in producing their food.
Tyfu Pobl is funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013, which is itself funded by the Welsh Government and the European Union.
Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens: FCFCG is a registered charity which supports, represents and promotes community-managed farms, gardens, allotments and other green spaces, creating opportunities for local communities to grow. We also provide the national face of the community farm and garden movement, promoting its work and raise its profile with decision-makers, funders, the public and Government.
Organic Centre Wales (OCW) is a partnership consisting of: ADAS, The Organic Research Centre Elm Farm and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Science (IBERS), Aberystwyth University.
OCW is currently delivering the Better Organic Business Links project (BOBL), funded by Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The project is designed to support the primary producer in Wales and grow the market for Welsh organic produce in a sustainable way.
For more information contact: Rupert Dunn: Rupert@farmgarden.org.uk T: 01834 869927