EP 17: Community Supported Agriculture with Charlene Tan

What does community supported agriculture look like in the Philippines today?

This episode we chat with Charlene Tan, who started the Good Food Community CSA (community supported agriculture) program with a small group of volunteers in 2010. Back then, the idea of fresh vegetables delivered weekly to your door - to city dwellers who lived in Manila - wasn’t such a common concept. After all, if you had your pick of produce available at grocery stores, why lock yourself into a limited supply of vegetables that you may not even know how to cook with?

But Char and her team were determined to make a difference - in the lives of the farmers they came to know well, and in what people thought about locally-grown, backyard “bahay kubo” vegetables.

It truly takes a village to succeed, and eight years on, the Good Food Community’s growing base of customers and advocates prove that sustainable agriculture and profitable farming can co-exist in the Philippines.

Show notes

02:05 Food sustainability in the media
04:00 About Good Food Community
05:35 Starting a community supported agriculture program
08:55 "It was something completely new"
11:30 Consumer challenges
12:10 The "bahay kubo" vegetables
15:45 Farmer challenges
19:25 Food accessibility in the Philippines
20:10 Building a cooperative
21:45 On rice and food security
24:10 Ate Lady - a young, model farmer
27:55 Weekly "bayong" deliveries
29:45 "There are many ways to talk about sustainability"
31:50 Hopefully, a movement
33:10 Choosing the riches we have
34:00 Working with agriculturists
35:45 Building relationships and presence
36:40 A sense of place

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