Biohof Mogg (Community Supported Agriculture)

Environmental sustainability; Poverty and social exclusion; Other

The ‘Biohof Mogg’ is a Demeter family farm growing a wide range of both common and rare vegetable varieties. The farm runs a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) since 2013. A farm shop and the production of seedlings (among others for the ‘Arche Noah Association’) are two more mainstays of the farm. The ‘Biohof Mogg’ also collaborates with a beekeeper: the bees pollinate the fields of the farm and CSA members are supplied with honey.
The CSA currently provides 200 harvest shares which are provided throughout the year (50 weeks). CSA members are households and food cooperatives (food-coops) in the rural area of Lower Austria and in Vienna. CSA members pay their share on the annual budget of the farm up-front for the entire year or in twelve monthly rates. In turn, members get their shares of the harvest in free weekly take-outs. The amount of the annual payments is set at the annual general meeting of the CSA. For CSA members facing difficulties in meeting their annual payments, a reduction of their payments may be granted in exchange for actively working on the farm.
In order to minimise transportation, the ‘Biohof Mogg’ defined that delivery points must hold at least ten harvest shares in ordered to be supplied. CSA members are invited to voluntarily help out on the farm during so-called periodical volunteer days, action and harvest days or to participate in farm events.

Production of goods; Marketing & Promotion; Volunteering
CSA members (private households, foodcoops), one beekeeper, Arche Noah (Association for preserving and developing seed diversity and knowledge of cultivation)

• Before the farm established the CSA, it had been selling their vegetables in a box scheme. Due to several reasons (such as a high administrative effort, pressure to constantly grow in sales volume along with an increasing share of off-farm produce in the vegetable boxes) the Biohof Mogg decided to restructure its direct marketing strategy.
• General benefits of CSA: lower marketing risks and costs (including less manpower needed) as well as enhanced financial stability for the producers, since CSA members share the growing risk with the farmer; in turn, CSA members are more actively involved, know the farm and farmer they buy their food from and are more aware of the production standards and quality of the food.
• General downside aspects of CSA: the producers are still at risk of losing their CSA members / shareholders due to unpredictable reasons (lack of commitment, personal reasons for shareholders to quit the CSA, etc.)

* Information at the level of NUTS 3 or local regions.