This charter has been collectively written by CSA farmers and promotors in the United States and in Canada during 2016, to prepare the 2017 CSA Day, on February 24th.
It is up to each CSA farm and its community to build a model that suits them best and to mutually ensure that the CSA upholds the principles of this charter.
1. Farm members buy directly from the farm or group of farms. There is no middleman.
2. The farm provides member families with high quality, healthy, nutrient-dense, fresh and preserved, local and low fossil-fuel food or fiber, filling the share primarily with products grown on the farm or, if purchased from other farms, clearly identified as to origin.
3. Farm members commit to the CSA, sharing the risks of farming by signing an agreement with the CSA and paying some part in advance, even as little as two weeks for those on Food Stamps.
4. The farm nurtures biodiversity through healthy production that is adapted to the rhythm of the seasons and is respectful of the natural environment, of cultural heritage, and that builds healthy soils, restores soil carbon, conserves water and minimizes pollution of soil, air and water.
5. Farmers and members commit to good faith efforts for continuous development of mutual trust and understanding, and to solidarity and responsibility for one another as co-producers.
6. Farm members respect the connection with the land upon which the CSA grows their food and strive to learn more and to understand the nature of growing food in their locale.
7. Farmers practice safe-handling procedures to ensure that the produce is safe to eat and at its freshest, tastiest, and most nutritious
8. CSA prices reflect a fair balance between the farmers’ needs to cover costs of production and pay living wages to themselves and all farm workers so that they can live in a dignified manner, and members’ needs for food that is accessible and affordable.
9. Farmers consult with members, take their preferences into account when deciding what crops to grow and communicate regularly about the realities of the farm.
10. Farm members commit to cooperation with the community of members and to fulfill their commitments to the CSA.
11. Farmers commit to using locally adapted seeds and breeds to the greatest extent possible.
12. The CSA seeks paths to social inclusiveness to enable the less well-off to access high quality food and commits to growing the CSA movement through increasing the number of CSAs and collaboration among them.
Photo credit: Fair Share