Appropriate Economics Movimento Monetario Mosaico

About Strohalm


Strohalm was founded in 1970 as one of the first Dutch NGOs actively committed to the cause of a socially, environmentally and culturally sustainable society. We promote social and economic alternatives by way of comprehensive research, trainings, projects and publications on Financial Micro Initiatives and ecological tax reform. We are based in a charming 17th century building in downtown Utrecht. Private donations allow us to be independent, creative and innovative.


Strohalm develops innovative projects to tackle the underlying economic causes of environmental degradation and social problems such as such as poverty, long-term unemployment and consumerism. Through projects in practise we want to demonstrate that change is possible. We focus on issues like interest, money circulation, taxation principles and the social organisation of economies because they represent mechanisms that influence how the economy functions. By constructively challenging the economic dynamics of our world we can achieve positive social change, environmental harmony and better opportunities for human progress.


See the menu on the left to learn more about Strohalm's programs.

Valuable Local Currency System
Bonus Micro Credit Program
Consumer Commerce Circuit

Community Supported Agriculture - Pergola

Pergola is the Dutch term for Community S upported Agriculture which is a cooperation between one or more organic farmers and a group of consumers. A distribution network is set up for direct delivery and the consumers cooperate in a far reaching manner with the farmers. The consumers have a say in the farmers policy and methods and can help at the farm in a busy season. This way they get affordable organic products and know where they come from. The farmer in return has secured sale for his produce and can reduce the investment loans because the consumers pay in advance (saving expenses for all involved).
Strohalm promotes and supports this way of working in the Netherlands and runs the secretariat for the association of organic farms with food box schemes.

Interest-free Banking

Strohalm has developed an interest-free savings and loan fund which allows people who put savings in the fund to take out loans interest-free. Interest-free loans are especially profitable for long-term loans where normally the interest burden increases exponentially. The advantage of not paying interest outweighs the loss of interest on your savings. What is more important for the general well-being, is that it avoids the mechanism of interest: interest causes a continuous flow of money from poor to rich people. At the same time interest forces the economy to grow at at least the same rate (though many economists suggest the opposite when they speak of interest as a tool to influence national investments). The interest-free fund is a first step towards interest-free banking in the Netherlands.

LETSlink Netherlands

Strohalm introduced Local Exchange Trade Systems (LETS) in the Netherlands. At present, Strohalm supportes the further development of LETS through projects in practice, information materials and research. At present there are 100 Dutch LETSystems and their many thousands of members.


Noppes in Amsterdam was the first LETSystem in the Netherlands, started in 1993. Now it is a professional organisation working on an innovative experiment trying to combine LETS and commercial barter. At this moment the LETS-part of Noppes has more than 900 members and the barter has just started this year (1998). The name "Noppes" is Amsterdam-slang for "nothing". If you understand Dutch you can have a look at

Flight-tax Campaign

The campaign originates from Strohalm's Ecotax-Plus activities, promoting a shift from taxation on labour to taxation on energy and natural resources, thus stimulating employment opportunities while simultaneously reducing pollution and the use of natural resources.
The Flight-tax Campaign promotes a voluntary consumer-tax on flight tickets, combining public awareness raising with the funding of environment-friendly energy resources. See


The Research Group gathers information and researches what are called Financial Micro-Initiatives (FMI): innovative, and often local, financial systems. Examples of such systems are barter and exchange systems, interest-free banks, credit unions, Grameen-type micro credit schemes, etc.


The training departement provides training and consultancy on FMIs and project development in this field. Training can be provided for grass-root groups working on an FMI project, as well as governments and institutions who are dealing with it. Through training and consultancy a broader implementation of the ideas of Strohalm can be reached and so contribute to a more sustainable development.

Contact us for more information:

Stichting Aktie Strohalm
Oudegracht 42
3511 AR Utrecht
The Netherlands
tel.: +31-(0)30-2314314
fax: +31-(0)30-2343986

e-mail: [email protected]

You can also visit our Dutch web-site at: