CSA collaboration could lead to more produce choices | TribLIVE.com

CSA collaboration could lead to more produce choices

Stephen Huba
Clarion River Organics
Fresh, locally-grown produce is the hallmark of community-supported agriculture programs.

Two Western Pennsylvania farming cooperatives are joining forces to create the area’s biggest community-supported agriculture program.

The two cooperatives — Clarion River Organics in Sligo and Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance in Pittsburgh — have both run large CSA programs for years. They are now working together to increase efficiency and customer choice.

Penn’s Corner will be able to offer customers an “Organic Harvest” option through the collaboration with Clarion River Organics, while Clarion River will be able to offer a wider selection of locally-produced foods to its CSA customers.

Clarion River began offering produce year-round last year with the installation of three organic greenhouses.

“This partnership allows us to focus on growing and delivering fresh organic produce, and we can count on Penn’s Corner’s great Pittsburgh location and superb support staff to manage the aggregation, marketing and customer service even better than we did,” said Zeb Baccelli, Clarion River Organics manager.

Clarion River Organics provides marketing and distribution services for a group of 16 Amish organic produce farmers in Clarion County. In addition to online wholesale and grocery store sales, the cooperative provides produce through a CSA program that serves Greater Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.

Summer pick-up locations include downtown Pittsburgh, Monroeville, Squirrel Hill, the Strip District, Oakland, Upper St. Clair and 16 other sites.

Penn’s Corner is a farmer-owned cooperative whose CSA has 30 pick-up locations in Greater Pittsburgh and vicinity.

“Penn’s Corner is excited to be able to offer an all-organic CSA option to our customer base,” said Jeralyn Beach, Penn’s Corner general manager. “We are already packing and delivering hundreds of CSA boxes to many different drop off locations in and around Pittsburgh. This partnership builds upon what Penn’s Corner is well equipped to do and gives our customers more choices.”

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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