Community Supported Agriculture at the Kattendorfer Hof

New business models for local farming
Community Supported Agriculture at the Kattendorfer Hof Community Supported Agriculture at the Kattendorfer Hof
Publ. date 10 Oct 2016
As part of their round-the-world sailing trip in search of sustainable solutions, the Sailors for Sustainability recently came ashore in Kattendorf, Germany. This is their report on a visit to Kattendorfer Hof, an organic farm that works on the basis of Community Supported Agriculture.

The Kattendorfer Hof offers deeper insights into how our food is produced and distributed. Sharing the harvest is at the core of Community Supported Agriculture. The farm’s harvest is divided into 450 parts. Consumers become members of the farm for a monthly membership contribution of €182, which in return gets them a weekly supply of vegetables, potatoes, lettuce, herbs, meat and dairy products.

Cooperative model ensures income and fosters involvement

The Kattendorfer Hof’s members are organized in cooperatives of eight to thirty members, who each designate a location for the delivery of the harvest. By skipping the entire wholesale and retail chain, the farm can spend its resources on labor-intense, sustainable and more animal-friendly production instead.

The membership structure also means that the farmer has a fixed income throughout the year, removing his dependence on world prices or the pricing demands of supermarkets. The result is more financial leeway that makes planning ahead a lot easier. Each year the members can review the budget, which forms the basis for the price of a harvest share. This involvement increases the commitment to the farm, and collaboration leads to mutual benefits for both the consumer and the producer.

A circular farm with a sustainable business model

Kattendorfer Hof is a self-sufficient farm due to its nutrient cycle: the animals live of the proceeds of the land (grass, clover, hay) and the leftovers of the cheese production, while animal manure in turn provides just enough fertilizer to maintain a fertile soil. The farm combines a circular approach with an innovative financing model that fosters local involvement.

Owner and founder Mathias von Mirndorf comments: “Community Supported Agriculture can be a solution for the global agricultural crisis. It is important that food is produced regionally and sustainably to save on raw materials and energy.” His message is clear: act regionally to make a difference globally.

For more information, visit the Kattendorfer Hof website.

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