Food Communities

Food communities are groups based on voluntary collaboration for the production of and access to food. According to the booklet of the First Workshop for Food Communities (November 5, 2016, İstanbul), food communities aim to create connections between “producers” who provide ethical, healthy and natural food and “consumers” who want to know where their food comes from, and who are ready to contribute to the labor necessary for production. As such, consumers become “prosumers” or “co-producers.”   

A food community can be a legal entity (e.g., a production or consumption cooperative) or a grassroots organization (e.g., a community supported agriculture groups, a collective purchase group, or a community garden). Local food communities which display solidarity actions for the production and distribution of food are also referred to as Local Solidarity-Based Partnerships (LSPs).

Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a form of LSP in which the connection between consumers and producers and the commitment of consumers are strongest. Typically, it includes a group of consumers making a contract with a producer to guarantee seasonal purchase. This contract includes prepayments, sharing of agricultural risks and bounties, and taking responsibility for distribution of products.

Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)

Food communities include Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) that can be organized locally or span across a wider area. PGSs are systems that encourage face to face relations of producers with consumers and enable participation of consumers in production processes. The participants decide about their production criteria, choose their producers and collectively implement surveillance processes. 

PGS is a dynamic agenda of the IFOAM – The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements and some other civil society networks (e.g. Urgenci – International Network of Community Supported Agriculture). PGS presents an organization model that makes all stakeholders of the food system activ