AMAP ("Associations for the maintenance of peasant agriculture") appeared in France in the early 2000s. It is a scheme that provides consumers with direct access to produce and allows growers to plan for the long-term.
Picture by urgenci.net
An AMAP consists in creating a close partnership between the producer and a group of consumers. The former commits to the regular supply of a basket of fresh vegetables (or meat, eggs, etc.) that he/she has produced following principles that are environmentally friendly. The consumers then commit to buying the basket at a standard price for a specified period of time (usually six months).
The first AMAP groups started in 2001 and now there are almost 1,600, with regular deliveries of 66,000 boxes to some 270,000 consumers. The buyers, referred to as "Amapiens", prefer fairly small groups "to maintain a local spirit".
Mouvement des associations pour le maintien d'une agriculture paysanne - Movement of Associations for the maintaining of a farming agriculture
Links and other sources
- Network of AMAPs in France: http://www.reseau-amap.org/
- Some of the information used in this section was taken from the Guardian UK article: "France's small-scale organic farmers celebrate 10 years of boxing clever".