Urban Farmer News & Developments

A message from Steven Payne.
Managing director, Urban Farmer

As another year-end rolls around, I sit to pen a few words to you, our clients, our suppliers, my colleagues, friends, and family. We are living in a time when the daily challenges we encounter, whether big or small, leave us feeling frustrated, despondent, and sometimes angry. How can I challenge you on this state of mind while writing this message by the light of my Magneto torch due to load-shedding. I cannot. I can only encourage you to seek the good in things too; in the people you meet and the circumstances that you encounter. I am not suggesting that 2022 has not come without its “downs” but I am asking you to spend some time considering its “ups” too. Against all the challenges of 2022 we have much to celebrate.


Urban Farmer had a good year. We were able to engage new staff and open a satellite office in Pretoria. We introduced Urban Friday, a social event on the last Friday of every month, as a way to enjoy and celebrate each other’s company. Our U-MIX project gained traction and we’re starting to see the potential of engaging with the small-scale farmer. We were the recipients of wonderful support from our logistics and supply partners looking to see how their products and services could further enhance our business. We were back in the field seeing clients and our efforts won us some exciting new business, as well as seeing many of our existing clients develop and grow. We did lose some business too. In some cases, clients’ businesses closed despite their best efforts, and ours’ to support them. In other cases, clients moved on to work with new partners that they felt better supported their needs. I am proud to say that we retained the respect and friendship of these clients and I believe that their doors remain open to Urban Farmer, if not for business, then at least for a cup of coffee.


I relay an anecdote about a friend of mine. I don’t think that he’ll mind me sharing it. He told me about a daily routine that he would go through with his girls when he dropped them off at school in the morning. They would pack a snack and sit on their regular bench at the school ahead of assembly and spend some uninterrupted time together. He would ask each of them to recall instances in their day when they had been generous and kind, and to think about something that they should be grateful for. And he would share his own experiences too. I have tried implementing a similar routine in my life too, but not yet successfully. In retelling the story, I don’t doubt that my friend omitted to tell me about the times that he and the girls were running late for school, or when a book had been forgotten and the drama was too much to deal with, when this daily routine was skipped. I do think that he would say, “Don’t give up. Try again.” In closing. Take stock of the successes in your life. Seek the good in people and circumstances. When you fail, don’t give-up. Be kind. I wish you all a blessed and peaceful Christmas and a happy festive season.


Thank you,