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Future Friendly Food

Description:

Farms of the Future - Ripple Farms brings the Farm to the city, using aquaponics tethered to vertical growing technology to increase capacity of highly nutritious produce and fish in a fraction of the space. The Ripple Systems are semi-portable, have the ability to run off-grid, and require less labour to run at full efficiency - making the case for remote activations.

Benefit:

Ripple Farms is a social enterprise looking to tackle food insecurity issues on a global scale, but getting their start right here in Canada's tough climate. Ripple Farms has three key pillars that shape everything they do, from day-to-day tasks to 100 years down the road.

1. Environmental - Ripple Farms is inherently sustainable - always striving to 'close-the-loop' on every facet of operations and converting the little waste that is produced into useful products. Ripple is currently gathering metrics on their operations in order to measure the impacts on the environment and how best to scale operations and become a net positive company in the future.

2. Social - There has been a disconnect in society from the industrialization of our food. Ripple Farms looks to bring the Farm to the city, not only to reduce food-miles, but to inspire future generations to get back into farming and see this as a viable career path moving forward. Food insecurity is thought only to be affecting third world nations, but in reality it's happening in our own back yards, especially with Northern communities that are forced to import produce and other perishable goods due to lack of ground transport access.

3. Economical - Many think social enterprises don't focus on the monetary aspect of their business, but think again. Ripple Farms knows the value of a dollar and how far their dollars can go when reinvested in the local or 'circular' economy - it all comes down to how you spend your profits.

Success Criteria:

1. Environmental - Ripple Farms looks to be completely off-grid, have net-positive in operations, and ultimately reduce food-miles. We are working with a company called Social Offsets (Stephen Williams) to gather metrics on our operations, so when the operations are scaled up we can ensure our environmental focus is not compromised. As for food-miles, the goal is to internalize the food production system to reduce the need for imported food products by growing them on Canadian 'soil' all year round. We can measure this by comparing our net sales to the current and future imported goods into Canada.

2. Social - Ripple looks to bring the farm to the city in hopes to inspire next generations to get into the agricultural industry - less than 2% of the population is moving into this sector. We work with institutions to provide the necessary knowledge transfer and we can measure the success of this by how many employees we hire moving forward.

3. Economic - Even as a social enterprise, we are looking to be leaders in the agriculture space and be able to capitalize on our high value products. With this, we are supporters of the local or 'circular' economy, thus reinvesting our profits in the local economy/community.

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