Before you decide on distribution, there are some fundamental questions to ask when you are designing your CSA program:
- How much risk do CSA members actually have? What happens if there is a bad crop year?
- How much flexibility do customers have in deciding what products are in their box?
- Can members put their box on hold? Allow them to put their share on hold and pick up a double box the next week? Allow them to mark the box for donation to the local food bank?
- Will you grow 100% of the food in your box or will you include products from other farms? How will you make it clear to customers which products come from your farm and which come from other sources?
- How long is your growing season? How many weeks will members get boxes?
- Will pick up happen on farm or off farm?
- How will members pay? How many boxes do they agree to when they sign up? Do they pay 100% up front or do you offer a payment plan?
- Do all members pick up each week? or do some members pick up every-other week?
The answer to these questions will drive the distribution model you choose.
In full article you can read 11 different common models….