The Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) model of growing and distributing food aims to engage members in all aspects of farming. Philosophically and practically this means that risk and and reward are shared between members and farmers. As it is difficult to predict “the weather” when it comes to growing food and building relationships, proactively addressing legal concerns is imperative. Please note that these resources are for informational purposely only and are not legal counsel. Always consult an attorney regarding specific situations.
Types of CSA Legal Agreements
CSA Membership Agreement
This agreement protects the individual rights of the member and farmer/farm and clearly communicates relationship expectations moving for. Membership agreements include an agreement overview, what is expected from the member and the farm, farm growing practices (anything from certification to harvesting times), expected products, share commitments (what happens in the event of crop failure or surplus), share/box pickup terms, membership fees, and communication practices. Download a template the FarmCommons.org CSA Membership Agreement Template
Worker Share Agreement
As a farm, you may choose to accept farm work in exchange for membership fees or, alternatively, make it obligatory for members to volunteer on the farm. This agreement outlines the worker share's obligations, farm's obligations, type of worker share's service, worker share's risk of working, release of claims and assumption of risk, medical care authorization, and signature. There are many differences between volunteer and employee worker share agreements, make sure to consult your region's labour laws. Download the FarmCommons.org Worker Share Agreements Guide
Volunteer Liability Waiver
This waiver form releases farms from potential liability of volunteer injuries on farm property. While many farms choose to disregard volunteer agreements because they only work with volunteers they trust, depending on your state/province laws and insurance practices, it may be the individual's health insurance company who chooses to sue your farm, so it can't hurt to have one of these. Download the FarmCommons.org Volunteer Liability Guide
Adding Your Membership Agreement in HarvestHand
After logging into HarvestHand, click on Options>Share Options and type or copy your membership agreement into the Payment Options and Plans>Terms
Your membership agreement will appear automatically when a potential member chooses to purchase a share.
CSA Membership Agreement Resources
FarmCommons.org for sample CSA membership agreements, worker share agreements, and volunteer agreements
Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network (ACORN) CSA Guide – for more general CSA resources, see page 29 for Resource List
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