Title

Community Supported…Anything: Applying Concepts and Practices of Community Supported Agriculture to a Variety of Products in Vermont

Publication Date

1-1-2003

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Alan Hodson

Abstract

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a grassroots movement that is actively reconnecting consumers with local producers. CSA has traditionally been limited to the production and distribution of vegetables; however, examples are emerging in which other products are being made available to local consumers through CSA.

This thesis examines the diversification of the CSA movement in Vermont as it expands to include products other products. Within this work several local businesses (mostly farms) are documented that are currently applying CSA concepts and practices in novel ways. It also explores the various ways in which CSA concepts and practices could be applied to other goods and services.

The author, a CSA coordinator, engaged in participant observation, formal interviews, and informal interviews conducted at local farmers' markets and several relevant agricultural conferences in order to gather information for this work.

The author concludes that there are many ways in which CSA concepts and principles can and are being applied. He argues that the CSA approach is a viable economic model upon which small- to medium-sized businesses that produce and provide goods and services for which there is high demand can function on local support. The possibilities for the diversification of the CSA movement are numerous. This work makes a strong case for re-localizing the relationship between producers and consumers and suggests CSA as vehicle to accomplish this. This thesis is of value to anyone interested in CSA as a means to launch or adapt locally supported business.

Disciplines

Agricultural and Resource Economics | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Nature and Society Relations | Rural Sociology | Work, Economy and Organizations

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