CULTIVATING THE CAPITAL
Further to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, vertical and urban farming methods that produce fresh healthy crops are now considered to be demonstrably more important than ever.
The following information contains extracts from the report “Cultivating the Capital” produced in 2010 by an all-party committee.
“Growing more food in this country is going to become more and more critical over the next ten years. To avoid food shortages, an increase in the production, processing and distribution of locally grown food will become necessary. This will have to come from a much broader base than currently exists and there is a role for small, medium and large sized food producers working on existing farmland and new and unconventional urban spaces…Action is needed now to avoid sleepwalking into a major potential problem for London’s future”.
Baroness Jones – Politician, London Assembly 2000-2016.
Deputy London Mayor 2003, Chair of London Food – Life peer House of Lords.
THE UK’S CAPITAL ONLY HAS 3-4 DAYS OF FOOD AVAILABLE
The 2010 report stated that London had only 3/4 days stock of food – should there be any disruption to supply. We all saw the result of that recently.
The issue of food security must be addressed.
we are sleep walking into a major problem when it comes to food…Growing more food in this country is going to become more and more critical over the next ten years. An increase in the production, processing, and distribution of locally grown edible agricultural products will also lead to an increase in food security. Sustainable food security is a key function for planning, education and health.
RAPIDLY GROWING INTEREST IN LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCE
Other emerging issues such as climate change impact upon world food yields and the increasing demand of a growing world population on finite resources used for producing food may threaten future food supplies. Despite the apparent decline in agricultural production around London the importance of, and interest in, locally grown food has increased.
Close proximity of urban fringe areas to customers can guarantee fresher produce
and keep ‘food miles’ to a minimum.
Urban areas offer a good potential market, with increased options of direct selling to shops, restaurants, and the public.
Traditional agriculture may not be able to cope in these urban areas.
Traditional farming from existing urban sites is often dangerous due to soil toxicity and such food may not be safe to eat, and air-borne pollution means that all food needs to be washed thoroughly.
POTENTIAL MARKET IN JUST ONE CITY – LONDON
There are currently over 12,000 restaurants, 6,000 cafes and 5,000 pubs/bars, 300 hotels with restaurant facilities in London plus the wholesale markets – all in one place.
The London Food Strategy had several broad objectives that can apply to any urban area, as stated:
- To improve residents’ health and reduce health inequalities via the food they eat
- To reduce the negative environmental impacts of the food system
- To support a vibrant food economy
- To celebrate and promote local food culture
- To develop food security
GBS CAN HELP MEET SUCH REQUIREMENTS
GBS Modular Vertical Farms can be built on site in urban areas – a technological medium which assists with cultivation of fresh healthy crops occurring whenever and wherever there are market requirements in fully sustainable modular buildings.