CSA Research Group People

Bálint Balázs is a senior research fellow of the Environmental Social Science Research Group (ESSRG) and lecturer of environmental sociology at the Department of Environmental Economics, Institute of Nature Conservation and Landscape Management, St. István University, Gödöllő, Hungary. He is a board member of the Environment & Society Research Network of the European Sociological Association. His research is on alternative food networks, civic agriculture, food self-provisioning and CSAs.

Gaelle Bigler is involved in both organic food production and community-based agriculture NGOs in Freiburg, Switzerland. She holds a Master’s degree in both Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and is writing a PhD on how a group of actors transformed the usual way of dealing with public policies into a new agenda and means of working in the Environmental Field, in France, namely the Grenelle de l’Environnement. One of her many areas of interest is on defining an ethical way of eating in a given area.

Brindusa Birhala is an organic gardener, a researcher and an activist. After completing a Master’s in Environmental Governance in Freiburg, Germany and a subsequent Erasmus Mundus Master in Rural Development in Gent, Belgium, Brindusa decided to move to rural Romania and practice subsistence agriculture. Since 2013, she lives in a small village together with her partner and members of the first Romanian eco-community. She co-authored a scientific publication about the start of CSA in Romania and is currently part of the ASAT Association which is disseminating the concept of and helping to organize CSAs within Romania. She is passionate about all things sustainable and nurtures a deep ecology mindset.

Noel Bruder has a background in environmental management and community development. He has been an academic, worked for Friends of the Earth and is currently a biodynamic gardener with Lahden ROK, a CSA cooperative in Finland. For 15 years Noel lived and worked in Camphill communities, which aim to build a more sustainable and inclusive society. It is here that he got interested in biodynamic farming and gardening. His main research interest is in the role that CSA has in social renewal and how Food Sovereignty can become a reality.

Chiara Aurora Demaldè holds a PhD in Sociology of Food and Sustainability (Università Milano-Bicocca). She researched the consumption of sustainable food in the city of Milano, considering the importance of food choices in everyday life for sustainable development in urban systems. Her research topics are: communication, education and civic participation related to sustainable food behaviours; quality of life in urban systems; Spatial Analysis (Gis), urban planning, gastronomy and cooking habits. She works and cooperates with local associations related to sustainability and food topics (italian “Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale”).

Alexandra Devik is a Human Geographer from the University of Oslo, Norway. Her master thesis researched the Norwegian CSA’s potential as viable economical solutions for farmers (https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/37652). She works at Oikos – Organic Norway, a NGO, as an advisor and project leader (www.oikos.no). Her work involves partly helping CSA to develop, information work and link consumers and producers. Further is her interest and work with alternative food distribution systems realized through Kooperativet SA a food coop started in Oslo in 2013. www.kooperativet.no.

Sini Forssell is a doctoral candidate in Food Economics at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her doctoral research is on alternative food networks, sustainable entrepreneurship and food sustainability. She has been involved in developing Finland’s first CSA scheme, the Urban Co-operative Farm. http://ruokaosuuskunta.fi/english/

François Guiton is involved in the French AMAP network, and has experience in environmental research, specifically in the area of statistics and mathematics. In the field of CSA, he is interested in the setting up of the ethics brought by the AMAP charter, related participatory evaluations, solidarity finance for agriculture and the sharing of knowledge and know-how. He is a member and co-coordinator of the organisation board of an AMAP in the south of France, and member of the administration board of the MIRAMAP.

Daniel López García holds a PhD in Agroecology and works as researcher at Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Sevilla, Spain. His main research areas are alternative food networks, agroecological transition and participatory action-research. He has been involved in the first CSA in Spain (Bajo el Asfalto está la Huerta, Madrid, 1999). Since then, he has promoted many participatory events to allow collective grassroots reflection and networking between local CSAs, and within wider alternative food networks.

Jenny Gkiougki is a Food Sovereignty activist and a social entrepreneurship consultant who returned to Greece during the time of crisis. She is a member of the activist group ‘Neighbourhoods In Action’, holding one seat at the local government council of Thessaloniki. In 2011 she co-organized the first Greek Symposium on FoodSov, and in 2014 the Permaculture Caravan. In 2016 she co-facilitated a participatory video action research mapping the alternative food economies of Thessaloniki in collaboration with Christabel Buchanan of the Coventry University Centre for Agroecology Water and Resilience. She is one of the founding members and the managing director of Agroecopolis: The Hellenic Network for Agroecology, Food Sovereignty and Access To Land. She is a strong believer in the CSA model as a way out of the crisis and she works for the dissemination of this idea.

Vratislava Janovska is a researcher working at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague. She holds a Master’s degree in Applied Ecology and is a PhD candidate in Landscape Ecology, writing her final thesis on the topic The causes and consequences of farmland fragmentation. She is interested in agricultural landscape structures, land tenure security and access to land, especially how is it all connected with small local initiatives, such as CSA. Since January 2015, she is a coordinator of CSA CooLAND (www.cooland.cz) as she believes that the connection among the researchers, farmers, public and other stakeholders is the best way how to learn from each other. She is also a member of the national network for CSA in the Czech Republic – AMPI (http://asociaceampi.cz/).

Poppy Nicol is a gardener and researcher. With a background in research, Poppy is exploring the spaces of possibility for agro-ecological agri-food systems in an urban context at doctoral level. Poppy has worked for a number of community garden projects including Riverside Community Market Garden, Barry Community Garden and Allotment and the Trinity Centre. She is a member of the South-West Seed Savers Co-operative, the Groundspring Network and the CSA UK and Wales networks.

Stephan Pabst is founding member of the coordinating team of the self-organized CSA network in Austria. He currently works as a land worker and finished his Master’s degree on Agriculture and Food Economy in Vienna in 2015. In his thesis he applied participative action research to explore the self-organisation of the Austrian CSA movement. He is  CSA-activist and part of the Nyeleni-Europe movement since 2010.

Adanella Rossi is a researcher in rural economics and agro-food economics at the University of Pisa Italy. She has international research experience on alternative food networks, transition towards food sustainability and social innovation. She has relationships with regional and national networks of CSA and is directly involved in diverse experiences at local level (Solidarity-based Purchase Groups – GAS; CSA; collective gardening).

Peter Volz is a researcher from the organisation Die Agronauten (www.agronauten.net), based in Germany. Based on his background in participatory social research and personal activism he is interested in all types of research that bear practical relevance and that aim to establish food systems of permanence, resilience and proximity.

Philipp Weckenbrock holds a PhD in Geography. He is very interested in agroecology, agroforestry and human-scale food systems. As a member of the research group Die Agronauten he has been working on topics related to regional, sustainable food systems since 2011. Beside his work with social movements and in research, Philipp also works in the production of open pollinated seeds and as a fruit farmer.