Community supported agriculture by local partnerships between urban consumers and small-scale farmers.
The aim is to supply fresh agricultural products to urban consumers, mostly families, by shortening the value chain and sharing the risks between the producer and the consumer.
The basket consists of seasonable fresh agricultural products, mostly vegetables, providing a fixed content, based on the season.
The basket deliverer/ mostly producers associations, is usually collecting fresh products from few regular producers, creating a trust relationship and consequently also between the deliverer and the consumer. There are cases when baskets are provided directly from the producer farm. Mostly the baskets are delivered weekly in a dedicated location in the city but some directly to the family address by extra-cost.
By annual or quarterly subscription paid in advance, the producer has the necessary cash flow for the production. The risks are shared between the producer and the consumer and consequently the delivered products quantity may vary. Open events when family consumers come to the producers farms are sometimes organized to create a stronger direct link.
Training sessions for the consumers are sometimes organized by the deliverer-association, pointing out the non-use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, the difference between traditional, organic food and industrial raised fresh fruits and vegetables.
Eight similar baskets currently run in the region, few being exclusively organic, mostly being local verified products.
The family baskets are private initiatives financed based on clients subscriptions, complemented sometimes by grants or donations.
Human resources and logistics for supplier farms validation, city delivery and venue.
Evidence of success
Since regular markets in Romanian cities are invaded by imported and mass production agricultural products and there are no dedicated markets or stores providing local based products, the basket family model guarantees that the products are proximity based and mostly natural/ few exclusively organic.
An average of 200 family clients per basket provider, supplied by an average of 7 local farms.
Pre-financing the production is depending on the client portfolio which is currently not wide.
The context of the basket is fixed, according to the season.
Challenging fixed timing delivery for all clients, logistics.
Potential for learning or transfer
The agro-food basket is a model already adopted from other countries, so already has a transfer component. It runs well for regions where there is no developed offer regarding local fresh natural/ organic products and where urban customers have only few buying options.
From the content basket point of view, the fixed content determines the family cooks to prepare meals using seasonable fresh ingredients, contributing to sustainable health.
The exclusive organic baskets are strongly encouraged once the market is expanding.
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