By Cécile, from Solawi Marburg-Giessen
On the last Sunday of January, more than 200 people gathered for the annual financing event of the ‘Solawi Marburg e. V.’, the Community-Supported Agriculture association of Marburg and Gießen. The aim was to approve the budget for the next financial year, and the individual contributions needed to meet it. Our financial system is solidarity-based. The total budget covers the sum of the production costs, the distribution of the products, and the association’s running costs. The total amount is then divided by the number of shares that will be supplied. This gives the average amount that each consuming member needs to pay. However, all members can make individual offers for their share, and thus contribute according to their means.
Until this year, the first bidding round was carried out on-line on our website ; however this did not allow the budget to be covered, so the second (and third, if needed) took place at the assemby itself. This year we introduced a new experiment: the first two bidding rounds were done online, and luckily the total budget was covered. We have for some time been discussing the salary of the farm workers,and wanted to increase their salaries. So that this would be a fully transparent process to all members, we gave them the opportunity of an additional bidding round, where the amount in excess of the required budget would be fully dedicated to the farm workers’ salary. This resulted in a fantastic salary increase of 5,5%! Wow, so easy and clear!