Urgenci International, Community Supported Agriculture Network is proud to now be a designated member of the RIPESS Board.

Today, Urgenci as the international network of national and regional networks, represent almost 3 million producers and consumers globally, and is present in all continents of the world.  The Urgenci´s membership is particularly strong in Asia, especially in Japan, with 100 000 members, the PRC, where there are an estimated 600 plus CSA groups, accounting for approximately 75 000 members. In Europe, according to the recent census, there are around 1 million people who are involved in CSAs. There is also a strong N. American presence of almost 1 million members.  The concept of shared risks and responsibilities of CSA as well as the frequent embodiment of food justice of many CSAs make it a natural member of RIPESS. Urgenci has been part of RIPESS Europe for many years.

Community Supported Agriculture historically has two pillars, one being that of food sovereignty, the other solidarity economy. It is the incarnation of the Japanese Teikei movement that was founded in the 1970s as a response to the environmental pollution of land and water caused by heavy industry, and the resulting Minemata disease. It was founded by the Japanese organic agriculture movement and housewives who wanted to protect their families’ health and well-being. jh-urgenci

Judith Hitchman, the current president of Urgenci has been involved with RIPESS Intercontinental since 2004 in various capacities. She was the European Board representative until recently, so the transition to representing Urgenci on the RIPESS Board has been an easy one, and frees her from any conflict of interest. Judith has been working on linking food sovereignty and solidarity economy at policy level for the last 5 years.