Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between farmers and the local community, in which the responsibilities, risks and rewards of farming are shared. The term CSA applies to a wide range of initiatives where communities are more closely linked to the production of their food, fuel or fibre by providing support beyond the conventional exchange of money. Benefits are enjoyed by all sides: farmers for instance can receive a more stable and secure income and closer connection with their community, and consumers can benefit by eating fresh healthy food, feeling more connected to the land where their food is grown and learning new skills. For further information, please visit the SoilAssociation.org or the CSA Network UK.
The idea for a local food initiative was developed at a public meeting hosted by the New Economics Foundation in Chagford in February 2008. Attended by over 70 local residents, landowners, farmers and businesses, the meeting revealed the agricultural community's strong desire to shorten the distance between its producers and consumers. As a result a market-scale horticultural garden named Chagfood was born and it continues to enjoy year-on-year growth today, with approximately 25 families, 25 couples and 20 individuals making up its membership base.
In 2011, in response to a growing demand for local meat, Chagfood provided 25 of its members with locally-sourced lamb. The trial's success led to the creation of a meat and dairy CSA now known as Chagfarm.