URGENCI: an Urban – Rural network, Generating new forms of Exchange between Citizens is the international network of Community-Supported Agriculture initiatives fostering peer-based solidarity among CSA actors to actively contribute to the food sovereignty movement worldwide!
> What is Community Supported Agriculture?
Local solidarity-based partnerships between farmers and the people they feed are, in essence, a member-farmer cooperative, whoever initiates it and whatever legal form it takes. There is no fixed way of organising these partnerships, it is a framework to inspire communities to work together with their local farmers, provide mutual benefits and reconnect people to the land where their food is grown.
The emergence of Teikei in Japan, Community Supported Agriculture in USA and UK, Association pour le Maintien de l’Agriculture Paysanne in France, Agriculture Soutenue par la Communauté in Canada/Québec, Voedselteams in Belgium and of many, many other initiatives shows how consumers and farmers in various places are responding to the same global pressures. This supports the development of organic family-run farms and local fair food systems.
-> By establishing direct, trusting relationships between farmers and consumers, people have access to fresh, healthy, nutritious food, at a fair price. They also act to foster ecologically sensitive farming and reduce food miles.
The international network URGENCI brings together citizens, small farmers, consumers, activists and concerned political actors at global level through an alternative economic approach called Local Solidarity-based Partnerships between Producers and Consumers. It is a way of maintaining and developing small-scale organic family farming and of achieving local food sovereignty for each region and community worldwide. URGENCI wants to promote all forms of partnership between producers and local consumers, all kinds of Community Supported Agriculture initiatives, as a solution to the problems associated with global intensive agricultural production and distribution.
Farmers alone have been shouldering the risks of the increasingly ruthless global market, which has forced millions of them from the land. Community-Supported agriculture offers one of the most hopeful alternatives to the downward spiral, and is the only model of farming in which consumers deliberately agree to share the risks and benefits with farmers.
-> The values of the network:
- Fairness, Solidarity, Reciprocity, and especially commitment to fair, stable prices and risk-sharing of agricultural production.
- Each producer-consumer partnership is independent.
URGENCI aims to develop overall coherence at and between local, regional, national and global levels of projects to emphasize the relevant contribution of Community Supported Agriculture to a sustainable and inclusive world.