How we deliver good quality food and water to an urbanised and growing population around the world is the challenge of the 21st century.

We have gone from a largely subsistence existence to a highly urbanised one in 200 years, a “blink” in the context of human evolution, and some would argue that in the process we have lost some of the “connection” to the food we eat, to our collective detriment.

The last few years have seen the beginnings of a movement back to food basics, and a greater interest in the sourcing, preparation and presentation of food. The “Masterchef effect” if you like.

Some consumers are starting to look for the source and provenance of the food they eat, as a way to ensure they are getting both quality and value. It is far from mass market, but not so far from the mainstream.

However, all change starts at the fringes, as a challenge to orthodoxy, and can rapidly become mainstream as the merits of the argument become known. Technology is changing our lives on a daily basis, but to date the manner in which we grow and distribute our fresh produce has been relatively untouched, but the change is now coming at us at warp speed with urban hydroponics and retail being combined in fascinating ways, like The Farmery, and almost all driven by innovative SME’s