By Jana Kožnarová, AMPI (Photo Credit: Jana Kožnarová)
“How to manage CSA” was the name of the first of the four upcoming testing seminars in the European project “SolidBase – Financial Sustainability Education for Solidarity-Based Food System“, where we look for new ways to support the financial self-sufficiency of solidarity food systems, including Community Supported Agriculture.
During the seminar, we became more familiar with the management and decision-making processes that can take place in a CSA. We focused on the different options of group status (formal or informal), both for the beginning and the possible transition during the functioning of the CSA. We worked on the roles in the CSA, rated them and looked for ways to learn how to delegate them. We created a schedule for the whole year, described and structured the pivotal activities of the season. The whole seminar was based on examples of best practices from home and abroad. The seminar was attended by 15 participants throughout the Czech Republic, with a balanced number of farmers and CSA coordinators.
And what did the participants learn about? About AMPI Association and what it is like to be a CSA coordinator in the Czech Republic. They got acquainted with the results of the European research under the “Solid base” project. The possibilities to participate in the EATingCraft project and what it can bring for food initiatives and farmers. A map was also introduced to them, where one can find the existing CSA initiatives and the eco-farmers, which can be reached for setting up a CSA. Last but not least, they learned about other food initiatives operating in the Czech Republic, such as the federal bio shop Obživa, the association Hojnost and the Polopo Local Food Market.
This first event was followed, on the 30th of March, by the second test seminar called “How to financially plan CSA”. This time we went to Ostrava! There, the focus was on how to better manage your initiative financially. The seminar was mainly about sharing practical examples, experiences and discussion. We focused on the time and financial planning of CSA. We showed examples of organization and budget of some specific CSAs. We also presented AMPI as an umbrella organization for CSA development in our country and our intention to create a national network of CSA initiatives. We also introduced the results of the European research under the “Solid base” project.