This paper seeks to make a contribution to debates about the continuing performance and significance of community within contemporary society. The subject of the paper is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a relatively new form of co-operative venture between farmers and their neighbours in which the community shoulders some of the risk of farming (usually by pre-paying agreed prices for the produce) and shares in the resulting harvest. This approach to farming is increasingly popular in Western societies, where it is commonly seen as a means of ‘re-establishing’ localised relationships between community members, farmers and the environment. While recognising the transformative potential of CSA, this paper suggests that the theoretical foundations of such co-operation are well-established and can be understood as gift-based, fostering deep connections between people as a means of resisting external pressures. As such, this paper posits that the significance of the emergence of CSA lies in the refusal to accept a market-based notion of food communities and the durability of certain forms of community as a means of understanding the ways in which people actively engage in making multiple connections, in this case with other people, with land and with food.
|Publisher||Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|