International Network for Community Supported Agriculture (URGENCI) is both a community of practice and a network of partners affiliated with community-supported agriculture (CSA). It brings together citizens, small farmers, consumers, activists, and political actors globally using an alternative economic approach called “Local Solidarity–based Partnerships between Producers and Consumers.” This approach allows the development and maintenance of small–scale organic family farming and the possibility of achieving local food sovereignty regionally and globally. The goal is to transform the food system through impacting CSA policy, creating food sovereignty and a solidarity economy, and working with similar social movements. This is done through international symposiums, action plans, and working groups and builds coherence between local, regional, national, and global projects.
Globally, URGENCI members organize around four fundamental ideas: 1) partnership; 2) local exchange; 3) solidarity and inclusiveness (in risk and benefit sharing, in many cases with variable price structures based on income); and 4) the producers and consumers working in tandem (based on non–hierarchical person–to–person contact and trust). The network values fairness, solidarity, and reciprocity. The initiative views CSAs as a way to contribute to greater solidarity between rural and urban areas. It promotes food systems transformations through the benefits of inclusiveness and access to affordable, healthy food; fair and farmer-led pricing; risk sharing between producers and consumers; low–impact agroecological farming approaches and low fossil fuel input; and reduced food loss and waste.
In an interview with URGENCI president Judith Hitchman, she told a story about a CSA network in the Philippines that was set up after the typhoon Haiyan. This natural disaster created urgency for resilience solutions, and the CSA was considered one of these solutions.