Do urban tastemakers hold the key to responsible food innovation?

Rubizmo focuses on developing entrepreneurship and successful business models in rural communities – but a new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation highlights just how important cities and city consumers are in driving responsible food innovation.

Cities and their citizens can have a huge impact on the widespread adoption of sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices, argues the ‘Cities and Circular Economy for Food’ report. It identifies that 80% of our food will be consumed in cities by 2050 and that cities need to collaborate with rural producers in the periurban area and beyond to make a sustainable change. Three ambitions to accelerate towards a circular economy for food are identified: 

1. Source food grown regeneratively, and locally where appropriate
2. Make the most of food by reducing, reusing and recycling by products and waste
3. Design and market healthier food products

Shifting expectations and demands in urban consumers are moving in this direction the report highlights, but that cities currently represent a ‘black hole’ sucking in food, energy and other resource

Sourcing food grown regeneratively and creating a shift to more regenerative food production practices to combat this will require innovative business models and practices being identified by RUBIZMO.

In particular, the project is working to identify new opportunities for sustainable nutrition provision, and better balance of the water energy and food nexus. And to nurture individual developments, RUBIZMO is also working to cultivate networks to support fresh business ideas and identifying the right environments for economic prosperity.

Reconnecting with periurban areas, new tech and finance

The report argues that periurban surroundings, where 40% of the world’s cropland already exits, is a sweet spot for positive environmental impact and innovation. Located within a radius of 20 kilometers, food production here cuts packaging and transport and increases resilience. New food-tech, ag-tech and financial enablers for a new set of food and agricultural solutions are emerging to power these developments the foundation adds.

RUBIZMO is happy to be right here to help move things along. Follow our progress as we analyse 100’s of innovative business models and distill new recipes for economic and environmental successes.