I'd like to hear from other CSA's as to how you handle transportation of
food from farm to distribution sites. Our CSA relies on a transporter to
get the food from farm to city. Every once in a while, there is a foul-up.
The sorters show up to carry out our community ritual of divying up the
vegetables, and there are none. There is confusion and less than good
feeling (at 7am on a Saturday) and people go home, get clued in by whoever
finds out what has happened, individuals' questions are answered, and we
just make do. This has happeed twice this winter.
Further compunding this is the fact that we work during 8 months of the year
with our primary farm, and during thier not so productive time in winter, we
have for the last two years wokred with a different farm that adopts us for
the winter months and releases us en masse to our home farm when May comes
We just had the second transportation problem of the winter season. I am
struck by the difference between this happening once ("Things happen") and
twice ("I don't know if we should do the winter vegetables next year", "This
is happening all the time", "They need to get it together", etc.). Clearly,
a single occurence is one thing, and more than one seems to be a slippery
slope. The anonymousness of the trucker who is neither the farmer nor a CSA
member seems to contribute to reducing the community's tolerance for this
kind of glitch. We discovered while talking about it tonight that, although
mess-ups happen with our home farm's transportation sometimes, we don't feel
it because the farmers take it out of their sleep to pick up where the
trucker left off. This point is interesting, because it can be said that
this is antithetical to what we are doing in CSAs, that the experience of
feeling the mess-up is part of the deal, that the farmer carrying all of the
risk is what CSA pushes against. It is interesting also for the value of
reminding us that transportation problems can occur in the ag retailing
mainstream without the consumer feeling a thing, that these are resolved
through availability of food from another source, using the mechanism of the
market to play one grower against another.
So, the questions are:
What do you all do to deal with unforseen transportation problems that
result in a missed delivery?
What systems have folks put in place to notify the membership at large if
such a problem has occured, and why. Is transportation hard for other CSAs?
Anything else to share on this topic?
CSA member - Live Power Community Farm