The new Urban Agriculture Consortium will support communities to upscale regenerative urban farming and food growing as part of an integrated, resilient, & just food system.
We will help support & catalyse the growth of nature-friendly food growing & tree husbandry in urban & peri-urban areas across the UK. Green Future Associates was awarded a £199,000 grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation in May 2020 to coordinate and promote this work.
The Urban Agriculture Consortium will offer policy advice, advocacy, business, land, planning & legal support, peer-mentoring, training & coordination to support pathfinder places & projects to meaningfully up-scale at all levels.
We will work with urban food producers, community food networks, universities & local authorities in 20 pilot towns and cities to see what will work in the wake of Covid-19, and to explore models which can be replicated elsewhere in the UK.
We will contribute to a greater strategic understanding of how to support urban food growing, as well as providing immediate, practical benefits such as skills-sharing, business enterprise support, and policy support for practitioners & local authorities & other key stakeholders.
“This is a valuable and timely intervention: food security in Britain has been shown to be under threat from unsustainable global supply chains. At the same time there has been a huge upsurge in interest in growing food with many new urban growers starting since the Covid lockdown began.Jeremy Iles, heading up the Urban Agriculture Consortium
“Urban agriculture offers many environmental, sustainability, community, and well-being benefits, but faces specific challenges: new approaches to land access & security, new procurement policies and new financial models are needed”.
“We’d like to see all our towns and cities becoming pathfinder Growing Places – it’s a win-win opportunity as part of a new more sustainable normal”.
“At Esmée Fairbairn we’re interested in more sustainable food systems. We feel that urban agriculture, at scale, has the potential to shorten supply chains, reduce the emissions associated with food production and to enable local communities to become more engaged with how their food is produced. We expect that expert advocacy and the provision of specialised expert support in a number of demonstration locations will help make the case for the wider uptake of urban agriculture across the UK”Laurence Scott of Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
A new Urban Agriculture website will be online later this year.