Community Supported Agriculture

AQUI, PAPO IMPORTANTE. Em algum dia de 2001, eu vi Lutz indignado ao refletir o caminho que estava sendo tomado em relação ao escoamento dos produtos orgânicos …estava e ainda está se dando quase que da mesma maneira do tradicional – temos que ir além.

Não basta plantarmos de modo sustentável, temos que comercializar de uma maneira que no final o agricultor receba o seu devido valor!

Por favor, COMPRE do PRODUTOR e não do atravessador!

CONSUMO CONSCIENTE, FAIR TRADE, COMÉRCIO JUSTO

Acho que só quem já tentou plantar a própria comida tem noção de como é desafiador todo o processo. O agricultor é quem nos alimenta, será que não tá mais do que na hora de darmos um apoio apropriado?

Abaixo, a Julian sugere a busca por soluções mais positivas e holísticas através do  Community Supported Agriculture.

Por favor, se alguém souber de alguém que pratica este estilo de produção no Brasil, pode nos informar? E se alguém quiser dar uma força pra traduzir, a rede para um mundo melhor AGRADECE.

Community Supported Agriculture

Direct marketing not the complete answer.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a wonderful example of how a holistic approach can lead to better outcomes for all parties. In this article below, I look at a couple of other concepts that could complement CSA.

Farming Success Factors
Direct marketing seems to be the Holy Grail of farming these days. However, my research has found that on its own this will not make a farmer viable. I found that farmers that are viable, or close to viability have the following in common:

1. Technically excellent producers
2. Built up excellent soil (process takes many years)
3. Direct market to consumers
4. Very low labour inputs or high degree of mechanisation
5. Very low capital costs (esp land acquisition and machinery)
6. Cover all aspects of running the business, either personally or through outsourcing.

Holistic solutions needed
I believe that we need to explore solutions that address these factors holistically, rather than come up with more partial solutions. A couple of concepts that have the potential to do this include Farm Clusters and Farm Business Centres.

Farm clusters are individually operated farms that are co-located within the same boundary. The Cluster is developed to share infrastructure, running costs, and expertise. This is similar to the Business Park concept in urban areas.

Farm Business Centres would provide business services specifically for farmers in the Cluster. Services would include finances, marketing, labour pool, machinery pool, business advice etc. The Centre would be owned by the farmers in the Cluster.

Why is this important?
Market forces are leading to an unsustainable situation. The average age of farmers is 61 and increasing. The average debt of farms is now in the millions.

In addition, very few small farm producers I have spoken to are able to answer yes to the following questions regarding viability:

1. Does on-farm income support you entirely?
2. Do you pay yourself at least as much as your employees (hourly basis)?
3. Do you cover all/most aspects of running the business?
4. Are you sustainable in the long-term?

If we want farming to be attractive to new farmers and younger farmers, it needs to be a demonstrably viable proposition.

Farming plays a vital and basic role in our survival and as such, I believe it deserves special consideration. It is not just another small business.

Personal decisions
All of this has had an impact on my farming decisions. Commercially, I will now focus on produce that requires relatively low labour inputs. Eg. fruit, garlic, broadbeans, potatoes and pumpkins. And I will continue to grow intensive crops like leafy greens, tomatoes, zucchini, herbs etc for extended family, friends and myself.

Fundamentally I am positive, because history has shown that as conditions become worse, people rally around to create the change we need.

What now?

If you are interested in developing these ideas and making them a reality, please get in touch.

Julian Lee

PS. Oi Gente, na boa; tô com este texto pra traduzir há décadas – e de repente, vc nem precisa de tradução né?! Ou vc pode se voluntariar pra traduzir?

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