The basis of Community Supported Agriculture is developing a relationship between a farmer(s) and the community that consumes their produce founded on an understanding of mutual support. The farmer or grower benefits by receiving a fair return on their products and a guaranteed market enabling them to invest their time in growing the food rather than looking for customers. Consumers benefit enormously by receiving fresh locally produced food from a known location with an understanding of how it is produced. The local economy is stimulated by consumers supporting local businesses.
The Soil Association have actively promoted CSAs through a Big Lottery funded support project Making Local Food Work. The Soil Association feel that reconnecting consumers with producers may be the single most important strategy for breaking away from industrial agriculture and moving towards more sustainable farming that meets the needs of both consumers and producers. CSA has a valuable role to play in redeveloping these connections. Dragon Orchard Cropsharers, which was set up in 2001, is a grower-led CSA initiative and one of the longest running CSAs in the UK.