In May 2013, there are 35+ CSAs in Germany, with at least as many initiatives currently at the germination stage. The German “slogan” for the CSA movement is “Solidarische Landwirtschaft:
Sich die Ernte teilen”: “Solidarity-based agriculture: Sharing the harvest”. The “solidarity” refers to a two-way relationship of support and trust between farmers and their “co-farmers” (an alternative term to “consumers”, used to emphasize the integral connection between the two groups). In many cases, “solidarity” also refers to the financial arrangement that exists within the group of co-farmers, with higher-income people paying a larger contribution (always on a voluntary basis) than lower-income people in order to cover the farm’s production costs.
Although the first CSA in Germany (Buschberghof, near Hamburg) was set up as long ago as 1988, many more have sprung up over the last three to four years especially, and this trend looks set to continue. The majority of the farms use organic (or biodynamic) production methods, and care is generally taken to minimise the environmental impacts of transporting the produce.
With the rapid growth of CSAs in Germany, a national network was set up in 2011 to facilitate the flow of information and mutual support within the movement as well as to handle inquiries from the
media and research institutions. Efforts are currently underway to establish a sustainable financial foundation for the large amount of work being done, particularly by the network’s Office team.