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Interest-free finance of organic farming: Pergola

In 1998 STRO founded the Pergola Support Centre in the Netherlands.
In a Pergola or CSA (Community-Supported Association), a farmer enters into an agreement with people who like to be involved with the farm. The farmer is ensured of sales of payable, first-class organic and bio-dynamical products. Moreover, the participants can help on the field or with planning or distribution.

Every year, before the season starts, the farmer makes a plan for what the company will produce and what the costs will be. He submits this plan to the association and after consultation the plan and the budget will be determined. The participants oblige themselves in advance to pay the costs collectively according to a distribution key that they determine themselves.

The products that have been made by the company in the course of the season are distributed over the participants. Each of them gets his share of the production. The farmer doesn't need to worry about the sales or the prices and so he can pay all his attention and energy to producing the best quality of vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, flowers, dairy produce, herbs and whatever is possible on the farm. Thanks to this consultation the farmer and consumer get a clear picture of each other again. The daily food is not longer an anonymous occasion, but obtains a face.

In February 2003 the work of the Pergola Support Centre was taken over by the organisations Platform Biologica, CLM (Centre for Agriculture and Environment) and the Foundation for Environmental Consciousness.