Great question! At the Hudson Valley CSA Coalition, we've found that many farms naturally have incredibly high retention rates (of the farms who have filled out our 2019 survey thus far, half have reported retention rates of >75%). That said, we also have farms that struggle with retaining membership year after year. We conducted Market Research in 2018, which gave us a bit more insight into what is important to CSA members:
-Members most value the quality of food, the variety of food in each share, and the growing practices at the farm. Communicate openly about your growing practices in your newsletter, and highlight your beautiful produce on social media. Members enjoy continued communication and engagement, particularly through informative CSA newsletters.
-Members were most frustrated by inflexible pickup times and unwanted items in their share. Consider having after-hours/honors system pickup, or creating a "swap box" where members can trade their unwanted item for something else.
Perhaps the most important thing is to know what kind of members you want in your CSA. If you are able to effectively communicate the values of your farm and CSA program, you are more likely to recruit and retain members who will be super satisfied with your program. As Corinna Bench says in her My Digital Farmer podcast, if you are selling to everyone, you're selling to no one.