A Greener City: Achieving Sustainable Consumption

Urban Farm

3. Good Health and Well-Being 4. Quality Education 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

The story of Urban Farm began when Gonzalo realized that small farmers in Nuevo León, México were used to produce tons of a single type of product (monoculture) and most of the time they sold them very cheap, barely making a profit on its production. Placing their products in the market with the current international competition was difficult, so Gonzalo built up a team and together they found another way around to put this farmer's products in the market for a fairer price.

Authors

Alicia Soto

Alicia Soto

Eli Rodriguez

Eli Rodriguez

Alma Gonzalez

Alma Gonzalez

Ruth Palomino

Ruth Palomino

School

EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey

EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey

Professor

Fernanda Concha

Fernanda Concha

Innovation

Urban Farm teaches farmers that are interested in the agroecological production, how to make polycultures, expanding the variety of vegetables they can sell. The company commits to the purchase of their harvest at a fair price, putting their products in the market through a store with home delivery, where citizens can find an agroecological alternative of consumption (agroecological = without pesticides or industrial fertilizers).

They also offer workshops to teach families and children how to build their own urban garden.

A Greener City: Achieving Sustainable Consumption

Inspiration

10 years ago, Gonzalo found inspiration in other companies that already do this around the world, but he had to adapt the idea to the industrialized city of Monterrey. The city has a culture of fast consumption with a lot of waste, and not always respecting the products' value.

Urban Farm was established 8 years later to change that. Through teaching at schools, they create awareness in kids and their families on how this way of consumption is not sustainable.

With Urban Farm’s store, they offer a place where citizens can buy what they need closing the cycle: people consume responsibly and producers make fair profits.

Urban Farm also participates with a group of advisors looking to restore more land in Nuevo León, helping rural families to produce more vegetables. They reforest these spaces, increasing aquifers and promoting biodiversity in decertified areas. One of their goals is to reinsert the mexican wolf in southern Nuevo León.

Overall impact

Urban Farm currently supports more than 30 families in Nuevo Leon’s suburban areas, buying them different types of products (vegetables, beef, chicken, eggs, flours, tortillas, grains and cheeses), which are put up for sale in the store. More than 300 families in the city are buying and benefiting from these products.

With the support and advice of Urban Farm, the producers are managing to reforest suburban areas by applying agroecology under the philosophy of permaculture, thereby ensuring the care of the environment, land, water and native vegetation. So far, more than 400 hectares have been restored in Nuevo León, Coahuila and Tamaulipas, making them a profitable and sustainable space for these families.

Urban Farm also participates with a group of advisors looking to restore more land in Nuevo León, helping rural families to produce more vegetables. They reforest these spaces, increasing aquifers and promoting biodiversity in decertified areas. One of their goals is to reinsert the mexican wolf in southern Nuevo León.

Business benefit

For Urban Farm, is very important to educate the consumer. Social networks (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) are their main tool, since through them you can show the consumer the stories behind the food they are eating. They show the stories of the families that produces their food, creating a bond with the company and its mission.

The company has a very effective distribution program based on customers loyalty: they deliver a large part of the products at a single point where families gather to buy. This saves gas and time, and establishes the connection between the consumers and Urban Farm. An example of this delivery spots is in the schools where Urban Farm participates teaching children.

Urban Farm’s goal in the next six months is to increase the number of customers and producers by 50%.

Social and environmental benefit

Urban Farm has helped in the restoration of green areas that were abandoned and that are now farmland in an ecological way, maintaining healthy land and water. With their activity they also encourage families to stay in their hometowns, stopping their migration to the big cities in the pursuit of better opportunities.

By advising, supporting and certifying local producers, Urban Farm is generating greater economic benefits for them and are creating a sustainable supply chain. Also they’re selling healthy and organic products to end customers, bringing great benefits to the health of the land and the people.

Interview

Gonzalo Villarreal Flores, Coordinación General y Asesor Técnico

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Urban Farm

Urban Farm

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, MX

Business Website: https://www.facebook.com/urbanfarmmex/

Year Founded: 2017

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Urban Farm provides knowledge to local producers to work their lands agro-ecologically, assuring they sell their products at a fair price by distributing them through a store and home delivery in the city.