Second “Be part of CSA!” seminary or “Sowing and seeding CSAs”!
- in the Czech Republic
Two months after sowing the first seeds on the Be part of CSA workshop, the time was ripe to hoe and plough the soil of the CSA novices’ minds to think how to sprout, germinate and where to grow.
The second workshop took part on November 28th, 2015 in Prague and attracted 15 CSA enthusiasts from both farmers and consumers sides, who were motivated to take the first steps towards setting up their own CSA. One of the farmer-participant already experienced his first half-season in a CSA and two others attended the first workshop in October and are strongly motivated to build community around their farm for the next season to come.
The introduction of the workshop was devoted to the first workshop summary as the trainers made participants aware of the context of CSA thanks to the short-movie created by CRIES, the Romanian project partners. The follow-up was done by guest-trainer from the Czech agricultural university who presented the research of Czech CSAs focused on the motivations of CSA members. It brought the participants an insight on the reasons why people like or dislike the CSA concept. Then all necessary topics in the process of setting-up a CSA were presented by the trainers: legislation, budgeting, farmer/consumer recruitment, marketing, distribution and roles and duties.
Majority of the topics were discused not only theoretically with some presentations, but also interactively with interactive exercises, like for example building one’s own fictive budget or a marketing plan of new CSA on the market.
CSA practitioners from three CSA initiatives were there to supplement the theoretical presentation of the trainers and take part in the active exercises o share their knowledge and expertise with the paricipants on a peer-to-peer basis.
The final part of the workshop was devoted to the elaboration of the action plan. The participants had an opportunity to work on the action points of their own project developement together with trainers and experienced CSA members, which helped them to come out with really practical and experience-based steps for the next months in their scheme establishment.
All materials from the workshop were published on our local project website: www.kpzinfo.cz/zapojte-se/zapoj-se-do-kpz/seminare
- in Romania:
The second module was organized in Timisoara, on November 28, 2015. 20 persons attended the training: responsible consumers, producers, researchers and also students from the Agriculture University of Timisoara.
Most participants were involved in the first module, but some of them were new people. This aspect affected a little bit the group dynamic because it was necessary to repeat some general information about CSA. But, this was also a good opportunity to involve the participants from the first session.
Each participant was invited to write three characteristics of consumers and producers involved in a CSA. The participants agreed that the main features of the consumers should be the level of information regarding not only the food system, but also the economic model, which can facilitate or not the access of healthy food for all. The participants agreed on the importance to sustain a campaign for consumers about the importance of healthy food, information about production methods in organic agriculture, information about industrial food, etc.
Regarding the producers involved in CSA, the most important quality is their passion for an organic and traditional agriculture. Also, they have to be informed and very transparent in their relationship with consumers. The capacity to communicate with consumers is also important in creating trust and long-term commitment.
After this session, the trainers presented and explained the main tools used in the development of a CSA.
At the end of the training, the participants were divided in 3 groups and got the chance to work with producers and consumers already involved in CSAs, to prepare the contract for the next season/year.
The trainees appreciated in a positive way this opportunity. Some concrete tools were used for this activity: budget, contract model, crop planning of the vegetables.
The main recommendations realized by the participants in order to improve the training were: better correlation between trainers, time keeping, better time allocation (even more time allocated to this module.) This session was prepared with the support of 3 associations: CRIES association, ASAT association (CSA Romanian network) and ECOSENS (a social enterprise, which assured the products for coffee-break, mainly from small peasants, organic and fair trade products).
- in Hungary
The focus of the second training module of the Be part of CSA! training programme was on the planning and the first steps which are needed for the successful start of a CSA initiative. The interest was high again, so finally we could work with a selected group of participants who represented
newcomers and already experienced producers, consumers and coordinators. The day started with the identification of the different key actors of a CSA community and we continued with planning.
This session proved to be especially useful, because the participants did not only connected their tasks for the next 3,6 and 12 month, but also planned with their personal commitments which are needed for the successful start.
In Hungary, a special session was dedicated for the budget planning. On the first training event many participants were interested about the financial issues of a CSA farm and asked for more details. So, after consultations with the already operating CSA farms, a sample budget was elaborated. As the production costs strongly related to the size of the community and the growing conditions, the sample contained the main budget lines and description of the costs, but the exact numbers should be filled in by the producers.