I propose a presentation about CISA’s (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) Workplace CSA program in which I will address the development of this program, some logistical details of making the program function, and the benefit of the program to farming families. As a result of attending this workshop, participants will have a basic understanding of the program, be able to assess the program’s applicability to their own community, and have the resources to develop their own workplace CSAs.
The Workplace CSA program links farmers with large workplaces or community organizations to deliver weekly shares of produce to employees who opt into the program. Over the past two years, we learned how to work with many different partners to create an innovative food distribution system that fits workplaces’ needs and builds new markets for farmers.
I will use the presentation time to talk about the needs of farmers in our area, the system that we created to meet those needs, and some of the challenges we faced in doing so. Specifically, I will share lessons that we learned (often the hard way) about working with complex corporate systems to set up workplace distributions sites and introducing a new food-buying system to urban employee shareholders. I will also discuss the balance of working to expand urban access to local food via workplaces while ensuring a profitable and sustainable arrangement for the farmers. I will focus on the ways that this program helps sustain local agriculture in Western Massachusetts by helping farmers find new markets. Time needed to present is flexible.
|Conference||2007 National Extension Risk Management Education Conference|