An email that farmer David Perkins from Wisconsin shared with us about the flood damage on his property articulates perfectly the importance of the concept of a co-producer.
Here’s what David wrote: “A theme near and dear to Slow Food that you may want to follow up on is the support that exists between those farms with direct relationships with their co-producers. Our farm would be taking a significant financial hit if we sold by the pound. Our model is Community Supported Agriculture. It is the best “flood insurance” possible. Our members expressed concern for us as the rains fell; we’ve have wonderful supporting communications with the people we feed. There are several CSA farms that have had greater losses that would be extremely badly off without their members continued support. So I’d suggest to use your network of people to find and highlight these stories. In times of stress (floods, hurricane…) the producer to co-producer relationship is key to weathering the storm. Unfortunately, few farms have that producer/co-producer relationship; and flood insurance does not save the farm. ”
For more on the CSA model, and how the purchase of a share provides major financial support to the farm, see this recent article from the NY Times.
Now, to David’s above suggestion: can you share with us stories of the CSA model saving a farm from the ruin of a natural disaster? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.