Regional Experience


As problems arising from globalization have emerged, one after another, over the past ten years, CSA has blossomed all over the world. The concept of “Community Supported Agriculture” originated in the 1960s in Germany, Switzerland and Japan. It is now practised in various small communities in Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong. These communities have developed CSA based on their own local needs. Even though our objectives and approaches differ, learning from each other will help us understand the difficulties and challenges of CSA and find solutions to these difficulties, so that better and locally appropriate models may be developed.

Regional Experience

USA CSA was introduced to USA in 1984 by Jan VanderTuin from Switzerland. By 1986, there were two main CSA farms, Indian Line Farm in Massachusetts and Temple / Wilton Community Farm in New Hampshire. They became active role models for the CSA movement in USA.
  1. History of CSA in USA
  2. CSA–emerging green lifestyle in the West
  3. What is CSA? (Part 1)
  4. What is CSA? (Part 2)
Japan The Teikei system is a special marketing system developed for producers and consumers so they do not have to rely on the conventional market. In practice it takes different forms, but it is basically a system of direct marketing and distribution.
  1. The Teikei system in Japan
  2. Mutual trust between partners—thoughts on Japanese cooperatives
  3. Rebuilding the network of organic life
Thailand In the last few decades more and more farmers in Thailand have been moving from conventional agriculture (that uses pesticides and chemical fertilizer) into sustainable agriculture, thanks to the efforts of a few NGOs who had noted the negative impact of conventional agriculture on the livelihoods of small farmers and on the natural resources and environment of Thailand. In February 2004 we went to Thailand to learn from farmers and NGOs, who have a wealth of experience in developing healthy agriculture. The trip also allowed us to observe how they struck a balance between their dreams and the reality.

Study trip on Thailand’s healthy agriculture

Hong Kong Due to the peculiar conditions of Hong Kong [and its depleted agricultural sector?], there has been continuous exploration of collective purchase. In the early years, local products were rather homogeneous and not as diverse as in Japan and Taiwan. It was thus difficult for one farmer to provide all the food a family needs. Collective purchase groups normally have to have contact with a few farmers.
  1. From red to green—Yang Baoxi on collective purchase
  2. Lessons to be learned—Hong Kong’s Community Supported Agriculture