What Are “Tenates”
and Why Are They So Important to the Agro SanO Project?
AgroSanO markets a majority of its produce through a partnership between a preformed community of consumers (“tenateros“) and one (or more) producers. The partnership is based on a mutual commitment that brings great gains and low risk to both sides. The farm provides healthy, high quality food that is produced in a manner that is in stewardship of the land and the local economy. Meanwhile the consumers are active participants who agree to support the farm through both financial and active man hours.
In the US, this type of farm-community relationship is often referred to as a CSA, for Community-Supported Agriculture.
Because CSAs are locally based, travel time is greatly reduced which reestablishes the direct connection between the consumer and producer, reduces travel costs and environmental impact and eliminates a lot of packaging waste.
The CSA model proposes a sustainable alternative for famers to earn their livelihood while also having a powerful positive impact on the nutritional health of the community. We have found this model to be very successful in the small scale practice we have engaged in for the past few years. With this growth campaign, we envision tripling our membership for a direct exponential impact on our community as well as serving as a model for other local farms.
The tenateros are active participants in the growth and distribution cycle of their produce. They pay a monthly membership fee that is used to support the farm. They are also responsible for participating in tequio, regular work at the farm in both the planting and harvesting phases of the cycle.
Our tenateros also assist with the distribution of the weekly food deliveries and are critical members of our team as we make new growth decisions as a community.
Benefits of a CSA-style System
1. Provide access to organic foods (without chemicals) of high quality that are fresh and seasonal at a reasonable price
2. Creation of a community of conscious consumers
3. Strengthen the local economy
4. Reduce packaging waste
5. Focused on farming practices that nuture the earth rather than deplete it
6. Discover new ingredients and flavors
7. Know where your food is coming from
8. Guarantee of a set income for the farmer
9. Direct relationships between consumer and producer