Intern Feedback

The CSA Internship Programme was launched by PCD in 2006 to provide opportunities in collaboration with partners for interns to practise sustainable agriculture, to become engaged in urban consumer education and to help farmers to change their methods of production. The programme also provides interns with training and exposure and strives to foster exchange and cooperation among partners in the network with CSA interns as the base.

During their training, the interns not only learn practical knowledge, but more importantly come into direct contact with the main participants – farmers and consumers. Such intimate and in-depth interaction between people has left deep impressions on the interns. Below are articles and feedback by some interns in which they describe how they got involved in the programme, and what they have learned and gained from the internship.

Personal Sharing of Interns

"Even if grit and sand are found in the rice one eats, one should feel blessed."
By Ding Huaming, 2006 Intern at Ainong Hui, Liuzhou
"Buy Rice with the Human Touch"
By Hau Guanhui, 2006 Intern at Ainong Hui, Liuzhou

A Special Intern Project - Jianghu

In the 2008–2009 CSA Internship Programme, two interns working with Ainong Hui — Li Mingpin and Yang Lifen — applied to PCD for a small grant to build files on farmers Ainong Hui had been working with. A total of 200 farmers were documented. They selected 16 farmers, interviewed them and wrote their stories based on the interviews. The stories were later published in a book entitled Jianghu.

The two interns used jianghu* as the title because they felt that the way things were done in their host organisation, Ainong Hui, was very different from that in others. Ainong Hui attaches a lot of importance to its friendship with farmers and truly enacts its slogan: “Food certification relies on only one thing and that is TRUST.” For outsiders, it lacks the strictness of other certification schemes and relies more on “the loyalty between members of jianghu”. This left a strong impression on the interns. They interacted with farmers with this kind of loyalty and, in the process, found the feeling and the motivation to work.

Below are the stories of three farmers we have selected to share with readers.

* Translator’s note: Literally meaning rivers and lakes, jianghu refers to the setting, dating back to the Water Margin novel, for stories of martial art practitioners for whom loyalty is considered a major virtue.