Community supported agriculture in Romania: Solidarity partnerships as viable innovations for small farms?

Searching for viable rural innovations that serve the health concerns of consumers and the economic needs of small-scale farms in Eastern Europe, this study deals with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). We are interested in the costs and benefits for both sides involved, the farmers and consumers, when entering into a direct, trust-based market relationship in the form of CSA. The study is theoretically embedded in the concept of solidarity economy. The analysis is based on three cases of farmers pioneering CSA in Romania by offering organic vegetables to their local contracted consumers in the Western part of the country. Our results reveal certain elements that are supportive for the involvement in CSA. Consumers follow more value-based considerations, they are for example convinced of the importance of a healthy diet and of the damaging effects of synthetic agricultural inputs. For farmers the CSA partnership is attractive as long as it offers a price premium and market access. Both, farmers and consumers compensate for market failures when involving in CSA partnerships.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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