How do I deal with community supported agriculture flakes?
January 15, 2011 9:06 AM Subscribe
How do I deal with community supported agriculture flakes? I NEED people to pick up their shares.
posted by melissam to Work & Money (39 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So I have been coordinating CSAs for about two years now. Currently I run my own in NYC. It's going pretty well, demand is higher than supply, but my perennial problem is people who flake out. The whole point of CSA is you invest in a farm and then pick up your returns. Some people invest in our farms and when pickup day comes they say they have a fever, have to pick up the kids at camp, forget that they were entertaining their parents for weekend, ad nauseum. Some of these excuses seem more valid than others, but the fact of the matter is that I don't have the infrastructure to store their perishable share. I have to struggle to sell it or eat it myself, which isn't always possible. I'm not sure how to deal with the problem.
Sometimes it's even worst because while the minimum quantity is prepaid, there is the option to order more. So if they do that and don't pick up, i have to pay the farmer with my own money. The reason I have a minimum quantity and don't require all payment in full is that this is farms we are dealing with and I have no idea what the final weight of the share will be.
Each share has a small fee that goes towards CSA infrastructure, but it's very small and basically pays for things like coolers.
I've thought about :
1. doing what the Park Slope Coop does and suspending them for an allotted amount of time
2. banning them from the club altogether if they miss a share
3. refusing to refund their deposit and donating their share to a homeless shelter and keeping their fee
4. disallowing them from ordering more than the minimum quantity for an allotted amount of them
I hate to be draconian, but I can't afford to run a CSA if people constantly do this.
What do you advise? Tips and opinions would be appreciated!