12 March 2010

Community-supported Agriculture and buying groups Event

Open Invitation


The NGO Clinic at Essex Business School and the interdisciplinary Centre for Environment and Society, both based at the University of Essex, would like to invite you to the following free event:

"Local Food in and around Colchester: Community-supported Agriculture and buying groups"
Tuesday, 23 March, 7.30pm at Lion Walk United Reform Church, Colchester

Join us for a workshop looking at the possibilities for Community-supported Agriculture (CSA) and buying groups in the Colchester area. After a presentation on the how's and why's of CSAs from Kirstin Glendinning of the Soil Association, and on buying groups (or food coops) from Gemma Sawyers of Sustain, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss in detail how you could get started straight away! CSAs are schemes which share the risks of farming more evenly between farmers and the people who eat their food. Consumers might pay up front for a season's worth of produce, and in return receive a share of the farm's harvest, as well as enjoy the chance to try their hand at growing vegetables or rearing livestock.

Buying groups bring people together to buy in bulk from a producer, and share the goods amongst the group. This way consumers benefit from a bulk buying discount, and farmers receive a higher proportion of the sale price by selling direct to the consumer.
Both systems can enable farmers to produce food in a more sustainable way and to receive a fairer price for their produce. As they are freed from the stresses of marketing their produce, they are able to spend more time on their land, producing food according to their consumers' wishes. CSAs also bring groups of people together around food which is an ideal way to start building community in any neighbourhood.
This event is particularly targeted at local Transition Town groups in and around Colchester (although it is open to all). It will provide a useful opportunity to meet other Transition Town activists interested in local food issues.

Please forward this to your Transition Town members and to other small Transition Town groups that you know of in the area (within 30 miles of Colchester) which we might have missed! Any contacts for Bures, Maldon/ Tollesbury, and also for Framlingham and Sawbridgeworth who are just outside this zone would be appreciated. We look forward to seeing you on 23rd March at 7.30pm-9.30pm at Lion Walk UR Church in Colchester. Directions to the event and more information on the hosts can be found below. Please confirm your participation by emailing Rosie Dixon at rhdixo@essex.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Rosie Dixon - NGO Clinic project assistant
www.essex.ac.uk/ebs/ngoclinic
University of Essex
Essex Business School
Room: 5NW.5.10
Tel: 01206 872637 Ext: 2637
Part time hours - Tuesday and Wednesday although this can be different

Directions:
Lion Walk Church, Lion Walk Precinct, Colchester, CO1 1LX
http://www.lionwalkchurch.org/Directions.htm
Easily accessible by bus, bike and foot from Colchester's main station or Colchester Town Station.

About the NGO Clinic (www.essex.ac.uk/ebs/ngoclinic):
The NGO Clinic is a not-for-profit social enterprise based at Essex Business School, the University of Essex. We offer professional advice and support on strategic development, organisational change and capacity-building to non-governmental, voluntary and other not-for-profit organisations both locally and globally. The services of the NGO clinic are provided free of charge to clients. This pro bono service is part of the University of Essex's broader commitment to social justice, equality and socially responsible professional development.

About the Interdisciplinary Centre for Environment and Society (iCES; www.essex.ac.uk/ces):http://www.essex.ac.uk/ces):

The iCES is an interdisciplinary research centre that draws on the research and teaching expertise of internationally-renowned researchers across the University of Essex. Its Fellows are engaged in a wide range of cross-disciplinary environmental research. The geographic focus ranges from the local to national and international, and covers both industrialised and developing countries.

More about the Soil Association and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
www.soilassociation.org/csa.aspx>www.sustainweb.org/foodcoops>www.sustainweb.org>

More about Sustain and Food Coops
posted by Jo

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