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US: Agritecture and Blue Planet Consulting announce mergerUrban agriculture companies Agritecture and Blue Planet Consulting announce their merger. The new entity, Agritecture LLC, will be better suited to pioneer the optimization of food cultivation in urban environments.
The Agritecture platform was founded in 2011, beginning as a blog curated by the founder, Henry Gordon-Smith. The platform focuses on urban agriculture design, aiming to juxtapose the present and future of the sector, inspiring new entrants to the movement and guiding them towards success. In 2014, Agritecture launched its first design workshop, bringing interdisciplinary professionals together in person to collaborate and co-learn through a design sprint. Now in 2017, there have been nine Agritecture Design Workshops in nine different cities.
Blue Planet Consulting was co-founded in 2014 by Henry Gordon-Smith and by angel investor Jeffrey Tucker. Since inception, Blue Planet has serviced over 30 clients on their various urban agriculture projects. Blue Planet’s primary consulting service has been feasibility studies for indoor vertical farms and greenhouses, with notable past projects including Farm.One, Square Roots, and Project Farmhouse.
“This merger reinforces our commitment to a creative and practical approach to urban agriculture,” explains Gordon-Smith, “It adds value to our clients by enhancing our ability to consider project feasibility from both perspectives.”
Recent history indicates that there is significant money to be made and lost in the newest form of urban agriculture: vertical farming. For example, Plenty just raised $200 million, while Podponics, FarmedHere, and Local Garden all recently shuttered their vertical farm facilities.
“Our feasibility studies help entrepreneurs and companies avoid the mistakes that the first generation of pioneers made,” explains Gordon-Smith, “We aim to challenge our clients’ assumptions and bring years of data to their projects. We help them understand best practices and avoid costly common pitfalls.”
However, not all urban farms are solely about profit or efficiency― many are established with equal or greater goals of social cohesion, environmental restoration, or food justice. Others are created simply to inspire. The term ‘agritecture’ inclusively allows for many possibilities.
“Merging Agritecture and Blue Planet will help our creativity flourish,” concludes Gordon-Smith, “We’ll be better equipped to design high-performing agriculture amenities for new types of clients. Clients who are just opening their eyes to agritecture concepts: architecture firms, real estate developers, universities, grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, and utilities companies to name a few.”
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Publication date: 9/22/2017
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