The concept of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is innovative in itself. CSA are partnerships of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters that provide a direct link between the production and consumption of food. Supporters usually cover a farm’s yearly operating budget by purchasing a share of the season’s harvest and in some cases they assist with the farm work. In return, the farm provides, to the best of its ability, a healthy supply of seasonal fresh produce. Solidarische Landwirtschaft e.V. (SoLaWi) is a non-profit organization and network in the field of agricultural direct marketing in Germany. SoLaWi promotes and maintains a rural and diverse agriculture, preserves regional food and allows people new spaces of experience and education. SoLaWi-groups usually consist of different collaborators: farmers, gardeners and prosumers (producers, which are consumers at the same time). Through teamwork and mutual support, SoLaWi creates fair conditions for farmers and complete transparency for consumers.
Farmers involved in SoLaWi are able to develop freely, which fosters innovative thinking. General advantages of such system are manifold:
- Increased planning security for the farmer and preservation of business;
- Risk distribution between farmers and prosumers;
- Direct contact and exchange between farmer and prosumers;
- Prosumers gain access to spaces of experience and education (knowledge about cultivation, maintenance and production of food);
- Transparency along the value chain (cultivation, harvesting and processing);
- Support of regional SMEs and reinforcement of local eco-cycles.