Description: As urban development continues, more businesses are being expected to make efforts to impact the environment, the community, and the world in positive ways. More conscious business is being made surrounding civic farming and its role in improving urban life.

Brands that focus on their social responsibility to improving the world actually do ten times better than those that don’t, thanks to rising demand for businesses to be more conscious of their decision-making. As the Millennial population becomes the largest working generation, and as urban development increases, so too do the expectations that this development will be centered around conscious business. Civic farming has become a growing trend related to conscious business across Europe as a means to enhance the sustainability and economic viability of urban development.

What exactly is conscious business?

A conscious business, simply defined, is a business that has made the mindful decision to make positive change in the world both through sustainable action and social change. All decisions are made by referring to a company’s mission, vision, and values and how they can be further embraced.

In the context of civic farming, sustainable action is being taken by developing a conscious business centered around local food development through neighborhood farming. All owners of these farms, including Farmlyplace, adopt a cooperative society with a mission to improving the local food economy and even the livelihood of all those involved.

Why should we support conscious business development in our cities?

Former co-founder and CEO of Conscious Company Media, Meghan French Dunbar says in an article on Grow Ensemble, there are so many positives of supporting conscious business that works in a ripple effect of benefits. “You’re feeding a system in which conscious businesses can effectively compete in their respective industries. You’re also ensuring that they can continue to do the incredible work they’re doing to benefit workers and the environment,” says the article which speaks to what it takes for a conscious business to be started in today’s more aware world.

See Also: Food In The City – September 2020 Meetup – Social Business and Agriculture in the City (Opens in a new browser tab)

How is civic farming making a positive impact on urban development?

Although farming and agriculture have steadily been a conversation in a rural setting, it’s more important than ever for governments and municipalities to embrace and hold on more tightly to the idea that the future sustainability of our urban cities requires a focus on agriculture and civic farming to succeed.

While 59% of the globe’s population is expected to live within cities by the year 2030, we need cities to become more self-sustainable. Supporting civic farming through conscious businesses now can impact urban development exponentially over the next decade.

Yes, rooftop gardens and small growing spaces will help increase awareness of local food growth, but by building larger businesses focused on urban farming, even using less than 10% of a city’s land, every citizen can consume their daily recommended vegetable intake without the need for adding stress to our rural farms.

Our rural farmers are still and always will be an essential part of our economy, however, by embracing urban farming to some measure, we can release the urgency and demand placed on our farms and grow crops and foods that many of these farms cannot. There is a chance that civic farming can begin to reverse our dependency on processed and “fast” foods and begin to encourage our younger generations to develop a love for farming and local agriculture.

The latest Food in the City Meet-up covered the topic as well. Read the Recap: Solidarity Agriculture & Social Businesses – Food in the City Meetup 26 May(Opens in a new browser tab)

It can also serve as a bridge between low-income neighborhoods and proper nutrition as well as become a way to return tradition and culture surrounding foods back into our communities.

Are there any negative impacts of conscious business growth in civic farming?

There are many concerns that the development of local farms and civic farming has on communities. Some studies have shown it can actually have the reverse effect on developing countries. It also increases the values of homes within areas of urban farming, which can displace long-term residents who can no longer afford to live within these neighborhoods.

It’s important that as the industry grows, so do other industries that can help keep the impacts positive. Community leaders and business owners need to be able to mitigate issues quickly as they arise and study the impacts being made on communities at all levels and aspects.

The benefits and positive impacts of civic farming on the social and economic development of cities are almost endless. There is a substantial amount of room for conscious businesses to enter and grow within the urban agriculture industry. This can be done either directly through local farming or indirectly by offering resources and supports (such as loans and healthcare) that positively impact civic farming and its growth.

Interested in learning more about how Farmlyplace is contributing to positive sustainability through urban farming across Berlin and further? Reach out for a conversation today. Head to our ‘Events’ page to find more about what we are planning for the next month.

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