Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Businesses
CSA Businesses and Food Safety
CSA businesses should continue to practice standard food safety practices for growing, harvesting, packaging, and shipping/delivering. For more information, please see the sections on produce and farm safety at the Farms & Food Businesses COVID-19 Resources page.
- It is suggested that CSA businesses clearly communicate to their customers what practices they follow to protect health and safety. As concern spreads about eating fresh produce and other foods during the COVID-19 outbreak, it is imperative that customers know that the local food system is safe and a good source of healthy nutrition.
Digital Communication and Online Sales for CSA Businesses
- Create a website: Many platforms exist, including Wix for a monthly fee or Google Sites for free. Decide what features are needed and select accordingly. Expect to spend
some time on the front end with setting the page up, but once it is established add
to social media pages, distribute in e-mails, and even text to customers for wide-spread
- Add an online ordering platform: As people limit in-person interactions, the demand for online sales options increases.
One provider of this service that caters to food businesses including CSA’s is Barn2Door. There is a start-up and monthly fee for their service, so consider if this makes
sense for your business’ operating budget. Another is Food4All. See Helpful Webinars section below for more of these online ordering platforms.
- Go Social: Social media is effective at reaching many potential customers for little to no
cost. Facebook allows ads for a small fee, while Instagram and Twitter are options that can be updated quickly. It is recommended that content is added
weekly or more often to keep the attention of followers.
- Use E-mail and Newsletters: These methods allow targeted communication with many customers at once. Services such
as Constant Contact allow users to create their own newsletter and then send out to e-mail lists. Also,
try simple e-mails from G-Mail or Yahoo Mail.
- Helpful webinars
- Ramp Up Your Online Ordering for Expanded Delivery or Curb-Side Pickup (Penn State Extension)
- Online Sales Platforms for Farmers (Oregon Tilth)
Additional Resources for CSA Businesses
- Visit the CSA Innovation Network webpage for resources that support CSA enterprises.
A guide from the University of Tennessee Extension for farms and food businesses that may be considering a CSA business model: Are You Ready to Start a CSA?
- A guide from the NC State Extension on CSA Businesses: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Resource Guide for Farmers