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Distribution and Decision-Making

Distribution styles also vary. Once the day's produce is harvested some farms weigh the entire amount and the number of pounds or items (e.g. heads of lettuce, pounds of tomatoes) is evenly divided among the number of sharers. Some CSA have members come to the farm and weigh out their own share, and leave behind any items they don't want at a surplus table. Other farms have a distribution crew to weigh items and pack shares to be picked up by members at the farm or at distribution points in the community.

Several advantages to the direct marketing approach of CSA, in addition to shared risk and pre-payment of farm costs, are the minimal loss and waste of harvested farm produce, little or reduced need for long-term storage, and a willingness by members to accept produce with natural cosmetic imperfections.

A core group made up of the farmers or growers, distributors and other key administrators, and several CSA members can be the decision-making body for CSA. This group often determines short and long-range goals, prepares the budget, conducts publicity and outreach, organizes events, etc. Annual meetings, a member newsletter, and occasional surveys are some basic means of communication between the farm and its members.

Source: The University of Massachusetts Extension