Is urban farming for rich hipsters?

Making urban grown produce affordable “This is a real challenge,” says Kate Hofman, CEO and co-founder of London-based aquaponics enterprise GrowUp Urban Farms, which produces fish, salads and herbs in unused city spaces to sell wholesale.

“Food is a commodity, and we have to make the business work. Of course, we are growing more expensive things with a bigger margin for a customer who has more to spend, but we are trying to grow other affordable things like mixed salad, and get those into retailers that are widely accessible,” says Hofman.

Workforce diversity Swiss aquaponics enterprise Urban Farmers – which sells its urban growing system and raises tilapia, micro-greens, salads and herbs – has taken over the rooftop floors of De Schilde, a former Philips TV and phone set factory in The Hague.

Tycho Vermeulen – a horticulture researcher from Wageningen University who has worked to attract more urban agriculture enterprises to become tenants of De Schilde – is concerned about diversity of the urban farming workforce.

Urban Farms Under the sea: the underwater farms growing basil, strawberries and lettuce Wider inequalities in the food system For some the challenges around equality in urban agriculture are simply a reflection of the global food system’s wider issues.

Patrick Holden, founding director and CEO of the Sustainable Food Trust, says, for example, that many of those working in the food sector are paid poorly and as a result, “The people who produce our food can’t afford good food”.

“There’s a whole generation for whom urban food growing is becoming a major interest. These kinds of food revolutions tend to be led by people who have more information, and maybe more disposable income, but that’s not to say they’re not tapping into something of interest to all sections of society,” he says.

This is an autogenerated summary from a published source: Is urban farming only for rich hipsters? | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian