CAFF provides direct support to CSAs in the Redwood, Santa Clara Valley, Central Coast and Sacramento area with membership recruitment and retention. In addition, we partnered with more than 200 farmers in California to form a California CSA Network. The network allows for information sharing among CSA farmers about such things as specialized software, recipes, member acquisition and retention strategies. Please contact dave[at]caff.org if you are interested in learning about or joining the network.
CSA Resources and Workshops
CAFF maintains a California CSA Blog with current CSA information/news and opportunities for CSA farmers to engage in discussion with CAFF and each other. This blog is an interactive tool created to encourage a statewide dialogue about Community Supported Agriculture, so please leave your comments! Visit our CSA Resources page and/or our upcoming workshop list.
After unanimously passing the state legislature, Governor Brown signed AB 224 into law on September 28th, 2013: AB 224 Agricultural Products: Direct marketing: Community Supported Agriculture.
CSA: We Have a Problem | Small Farm Central
An Essential Guide to Sonoma County CSAs | The Press Democrate
Produce delivery programs connecting farmers to consumers | The Fresno Bee
Assemblyman Gordon supports local ag. with new Farm-to-Fork legistlation | Half Moon Bay Patch
Brown signs bill to register CSAs | Capital Press
New state law levels playing field for CSAs | Ag Alert
Community Supported Agriculture – New Models for Changing Markets | USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
CDFA CSA Program:
CDFA Direct Marketing Webpage | http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_
Food Safety Guidelines for Small Farms | http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/sffsg.html
PDF of the Poultry Guidelines | PoultryGuidelines
Dept of Public Health Food Safety Program |http://www.cdph.ca.gov/program
Processed Food Registrations | http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic
Cottage Food | http://www.cdph.ca.gov/program
Handler Licensing Information | http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/mkt/meb
Accepting EBT/CalFresh Beneifts as Payment for CSA Shares:
For help applying for a free, wireless, EBT machine, please contact erin [at] caff.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to follow the food safety guidelines posted on CDFA’s web site?
– No, they are just guidelines. You have a responsibility to produce safe food, which is what you are being asked to certify.
If I am a single farm CSA and also participate in multi-farm CSAs, do I have to register more than once?
– No, just check both boxes on the registration form and pay one fee. You only have to pay one fee per year.
If I am a certified producer for farmers’ markets, do I have to pay an additional fee for the CSA?
– Yes, the farmers’ market fee is paid to the County Ag Commissioner and the CSA fee is paid to CDFA.
If I just sell a small amount to a multi farm CSA, can I pay less than the $75 annual fee?
– Not at the moment. If you are in this situation, please contact Steve Patton at email@example.com
Why is this law necessary? Have CSAs been making people ill?
– Federal law and California law both say that any food put into commerce has to come from an “approved source.” After 25 years of ignoring CSAs, the new food safety mania caused the Environmental Health officers to ask who was approving CSAs and of course the answer was no one. So they wanted to make CSAs get a retail food permit, which would cost you at least $200 a year plus have your packing facility inspected. Instead, we created this law that allows you to register with CDFA and pay $75 and not be inspected. CSAs are not making people ill, but if someone were to complain then there needs to be some traceability, according to the FDA.
Can I sell cottage food across county lines?
– Yes, you can sell cottage food across county lines as long as you are selling direct to consumers and are within California.