Teikei principles

The 10 principles of TEIKEI

Teikei means “cooperation” in Japanese. The Teikei movement grew as part of the organic movement in Japan as early as the 1960s. Building up of Producer-Consumer Co-Partnership was regarded as an essential part of developing Organic Agriculture Movement by the Japanese Organic Agriculture Association. In 1978, the 10 principles of Teikei were formalized by Teruo Ichiraku, a leading organic farmer in the country. The 10 principles of Teikei are still considered as the matrix for the CSA movement in the world.

Principle of mutual assistance
The essence of this partnership lies not in trading itself, but in the friendly relationship between people. Therefore, both producers and consumers should help each other on the basis of mutual understanding: This relation should be established through the reflection of past experiences.

Principle of intended production
Producers should, through consultation with consumers, intend to produce the maximum amount and maximum variety of produce within the capacity of the farms.

Principle of accepting the produce
Consumers should accept all the produce that has been grown according to previous consultation between both groups, and their diet should depend as much as possible on this produce.

Principle of mutual concession in the price decision
In deciding the price of the produce, producers should take full account of savings in labor and cost due to grading and packaging processes being curtailed, as well as of all their produce being accepted; and consumers should take into full account the benefit of getting fresh, safe, and tasty foods.

Principle of deepening friendly relationships
The continuous development of this partnership requires the deepening of friendly relationships between producers and consumers. This will be achieved only through maximizing contact between the partners, focusing on building relations rather than transactions.

Principle of self-distribution
On this principle, the transportation of produce should be carried out by either the producers’ or consumers’ groups, up to the latter’s depots, without dependence on professional transporters.

Principle of democratic management
Both groups should avoid over-reliance upon limited number of leaders in their activities, and try to practice democratic management with responsibility shared by all. The particular conditions of the members’ families should be taken into consideration on the principle of mutual assistance.

Principle of learning among each group
Both groups of producers and consumers should attach much importance to studying among themselves, and should try to keep their activities from ending only in the distribution of safe foods.

Principle of maintaining the appropriate group scale
The practice will be difficult if the membership or the territory of these groups becomes too large. That is the reason why both of them should be kept to an appropriate size. The development of this movement in terms of membership should be promoted through increasing the number of groups and the collaboration among them.

Principle of steady development
In most cases, neither producers nor consumers will be able to enjoy such good conditions from the very beginning. Therefore, it is necessary for both of them to choose promising partners, even if their present situation is unsatisfactory, and to go ahead with the effort to advance in mutual cooperation.