Nutritious and tasty food begins with healthy soil. Unfortunately, this is under pressure from intensive cultivation, fertilizers and pesticides. The number of insects and farmland birds has declined noticeably in recent decades.
For many farmers the current prices of agricultural land are too high; the yields are not in proportion to the value of the land. In order to help innovative farmers with their desire for nature-friendly farmland, the collective was founded. Jerusalem artichoke has been established.
Jerusalem artichokes connect farmers and citizens. They bring soil and biodiversity into balance. In the long term they aim to restore a third of Dutch farmland. And to ensure that they grow into a collective of like-minded people, driven by a common aim: to create a nature-friendly agricultural and food system.
Aardpeer is an initiative of:
Kees van Biert is involved with Aardpeer as chairman of the Board of Directors of Stichting BD Grondbeheer.Kees explains how you can contribute to the transition to nature-friendly agriculture:
How did you get involved in this?
"My father was a farmer. Because of my background I know the dilemmas of many farmers, which is why I have been chairman of Stichting BD Grondbeheer for 8 years now.
The agricultural land that Stichting BD Grondbeheer purchases is leased at a rent that allows it not to deplete the earth. This gives farmers with ideals the space to take good care of the soil and biodiversity. Moreover, it is a long-term lease, which is more sustainable than land leased for a few years or even just one year. It offers the tenant long-term security, so that he or she can invest in more sustainable business operations.
Each company commits itself to the careful management of the land through a plan, which is then reviewed by Aardpeer.
How can Aardpeer finance this?
"To generate that 'free money', BD Grondbeheer Foundation has issued a bond loan of 15 million euros within Aardpeer. With the proceeds, BD Grondbeheer buys land, of which it remains the owner, but which it makes available to nature-friendly farmers on a long-term basis and at a realistic lease price. The 'Samen voor Grond' bonds cost 500 euros each and have a term of 5 or 10 years. They yield a modest interest of 0.7 and 1.2 percent, but the return on our nature and healthy food is considerable.
Over 7.2 million euros has now been raised. The money raised will be used to purchase agricultural land for five entrepreneurs and food initiatives that meet the criteria of Aardpeer."
What is the role of JBR?
"When setting up the financing model, we also used the knowledge of JBR. That's a nice cross-pollination of corporate finance and the shared love of a sustainable world. JBR has also participated in Aardpeer with a bond package."
Are you interested? Please feel free to contact Kees