The Tuscon Community Supported Agriculture (TCSA) approach means that buyers know where their food comes from, and are more aware of the processes involved in the production of that food (Goland, 2002).
The TSCA also allows buyers to support local farmers and the state economy through the purchase of local goods (Horrigan et al., 2002).
The TSCA reduces the environmental impact of food as it is grown locally, reducing airmiles and plastic packaging (Thompson et al., 2011).
Food is seasonal, meaning that there are limitations on the type of produce available – this could be culturally problematic as certain cultures rely on certain types of produce (Allen, 2010).
The TCSA approach means that consumers are receiving a “share” of the local produce from farms. If there is no production that week, then shareholders will not receive any produce (Allen, 2010).
The TCSA does offer reduced prices to shareholders, but there are still high costs associated with organic farming and this type of purchasing plan.
Overall, I think the strengths of the TCSA are stronger than its weaknesses. Whilst it is important to consider cultural differences, for example, humans are well-known for their ability to adapt to any situation and this means that the produce available can be adapted to the needs of the buyers. The fact that the TCSA approach means that the consumers are getting fresh, seasonal produce that has no pesticides, herbicides, or animal abuse is more important as it represents a return to more traditional methods. The fact that the approach is more reliant on the success of the harvest is also important, but again this represents a return to more traditional versions of farming and agriculture and the point is less important in terms of the environmental impact of that food.
- Allen, P. (2010). Realizing justice in local food systems. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, rsq015.
- Goland, C. (2002). Community supported agriculture, food consumption patterns, and member commitment. Culture & Agriculture, 24(1), 14–25.
- Horrigan, L., Lawrence, R. S., & Walker, P. (2002). How sustainable agriculture can address the environmental and human health harms of industrial agriculture. Environmental Health Perspectives, 110(5), 445.
- Thompson, C., Press, M., & Arnould, E. J. (2011). Legitimating community supported agriculture through American pastoralist ideology. Journal of Consumer Culture, 11(2), 168–194.