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A MESSAGE FROM STEVEN PAYNE, URBAN FARMER’S MANAGING DIRECTOR

If you had suggested to me at the AFMA Forum in March that no one would be able to travel for the rest of the year I would have told you that Urban Farmer wouldn’t survive to Christmas. But it has and we have much to be grateful for. For me, the quintessential travelling salesman, nothing more so than six uninterrupted months with my wife, Cathryn, and kids, Farrah (6) and Tom (5).

 

On the 26th of November 2020 we held a company meeting at our offices in Johannesburg. It was the first time that the Urban Farmer team were all under one roof since January.

 

Without the reliance on Zoom it was a meeting with a difference, a taste of the past. Employees were encouraged to share the highs and lows of 2020 and the discussion flowed easily reminding me how special the Urban Farmer family is. Although 2020 had been a stormy year for everyone the experiences shared reminded me that we had not all been in the same boat.

 

It was fitting that the meeting coincided with Thanksgiving in the States as gratitude was the common sentiment that ran through everyone’s stories. We were all grateful for our good health and our jobs, and for the time spent with our families. We were grateful for the love and support that were shown to us and acknowledged the satisfaction that we felt when we could reciprocate and offer support to others in some small way. We expressed a newfound respect and appreciation for all the service providers, especially teachers, and we were all able to genuinely acknowledge our colleagues and how they stepped in, and stepped up, to support one another. We recalled our business partners who heeded our calls for assistance, and we recognised our customers, the farmers and the broader agricultural community, for the essential service that they provide.

 

As the year draws to a close I believe that if we can identify and take forward the positive changes forced upon us by COVID, then 2020 will still be considered a successful year for Urban Farmer despite us not achieving everything that we had set out to do.

 

Against this backdrop, and on behalf of the Urban Farmer family, I extend my thanks to each of you for being a part of our lives, not just in 2020, but since our inception in 2009. Urban Farmer is positioned for great things in the future, and it excites me to know that we will be able to share this experience with you…

 

I wish you all a blessed and peaceful Christmas, and a happy and safe festive season.

Sincerely,
Steven

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