Abeille (local currency)
Abeille is the name of a community currency started in 2010 in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France. It is named after the French word for bee. The Abeille program is intended to promote local commerce. The Abeille operates with a fixed exchange rate: 1 Abeille = €1.
Creation and objectives
An initiative of a local NGO, "Agir pour le vivant" (Act for the living), the Abeille is intended to:
- Promotion of sustainability: organic food and renewable energy among others
- Strengthening the solidarity: enhancing the human relationship between local shoppers and businesses
- Stimulation of local economy.
Currency issue, exchange and acceptance
Bills of 1, 2, 5, and 10 Abeille are issued. They feature drawings from the painter Jean-Claude Maurel on the obverse, and a photograph of a bee on a flower by the photographer Christian Aymé on the reverse.
To maintain an individual bill's validity, a "scrip" corresponding to 2% of the banknote value must be paid every six months. (This system, called demurrage, is a form of currency circulation tax and was invented by Silvio Gesell.)