Urban Farming Goes Corporate

With urban farming on the rise nationwide, some farmers and city officials are hoping that they can use the movement to generate serious agricultural, economic, and consumptive reform across the country.

Urban farming is one of the fastest growing agricultural fads sweeping the country. By transforming unused, abandoned, and dilapidated urban buildings and properties, the urban farming movement seeks to rejuvenate economically depressed urban centers, create jobs and boost city revenue, and expand access to nutritious food to lower-income residents.

So far, however, the urban farming movement has been limited in its goal of reforming local economies and currently services a fringe segment of consumers. Recent efforts by major urban farms in New York and Saint Paul, Minnesota, however, could radically revolutionize the movement.

In New York, Paul Lightfoot, the owner of BrightFarms, one of the largest rooftop urban farms in the country, announced an agreement with The Green Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co., better known as A&P, to provide the chain’s local supermarkets with produce year-round, competing with organic farmers from across the country and potentially revolutionizing the urban farming movement, taking the largely community based, non-profit fad into a new corporate future.

Lightfoot’s plans do not stop at A&P. In a recent statement, he announced his grand ambitions to change the American food industry. “We’re not trying to change the fringes of the supply chain,” he said. “We want to change the supply chain itself.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer