“I’m Happy for People to Collaborate, but I Don’t Want to Join in”. Addressing Failure in Community-supported Agriculture Networks


  • Bernd Bonfert Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8032-5424




Social networks, Network failure, Community-supported agriculture, Social innovation, Agroecology


Strategies for transforming capitalist economies often struggle with scaling up more socially just and ecologically sustainable alternatives. To avoid being stuck in a “local trap”, many prefigurative initiatives form larger networks and coalitions. Agroecological practices, such as community-supported agriculture (CSA), have been especially expansive in recent years. However, since most scholarship on the growing CSA networks focuses primarily on their development and positive achievements, we learn little about their encountered challenges and their strategies for overcoming them. This article therefore investigates the causes and extent of “network failure”, including barriers to collaboration and potential responses, among CSA networks in the UK and Germany. It draws on qualitative case studies, based on interviews, observation and document analysis. The article finds that CSA networks operate well at national and local level, but have experienced relative network failure at regional level, and encounter regular barriers to collaboration due to capacity limitations, differences and competition between members, all of which they are trying to address.


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How to Cite

Bonfert, B. (2023). “I’m Happy for People to Collaborate, but I Don’t Want to Join in”. Addressing Failure in Community-supported Agriculture Networks. Sociologica, 17(3), 113–127. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1971-8853/18336