Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche, September 29, 2022
NeoFarm continues to deploy its model of sustainable vegetable farms and launches the activity on the first supported farm, in the south of Ile-de-France, in partnership with young farmers. After ten months of project structuring and work, the farm welcomed the market garden team in August, who work daily to grow organic vegetables, distributed locally by applying agroecological practices.
Created in 2018, NeoFarm launched in 2021 the market garden production activity on its pilot farm, installed on two hectares in the Yvelines. For more than four years, the team has been developing technological solutions there, as well as its agronomic expertise, in order to bring about an ecological, profitable and attractive production model for the people working on these farms.
The first farm created for young project leaders who are children of farmers
Daughter and son of farmers, Hortense and Thibaut wanted to take over the family farm in Beauce, after a first professional life far from agriculture. Their objective is to progressively convert the farm, which is currently used for large-scale vegetable and conventional cereal production. They also want to diversify the farm by setting up different workshops, starting with market garden production in order to distribute organic and seasonal vegetables locally.
To do this, they chose to be accompanied by NeoFarm: “We decided to join forces to be able to take on all the tasks involved in managing an agricultural activity and to master all the skills needed to meet the challenges. NeoFarm brings us its know-how and unique technology, and we bring them our entrepreneurial spirit and our local roots!”
This 4-hectare farm integrates all the technological bricks developed by the company (gantry, tools and management application). NeoFarm’s design office also assisted the young farmers in the design of the farm, which includes many biodiversity zones, and then in carrying out the installation work, and will continue to support them in the management of the farming activity and distribution.
About thirty projects under study for communities and farmers
Around thirty projects to install farms based on the NeoFarm model are currently being studied throughout France. They are mainly led by local authorities and farmers, although companies (particularly in the agri-food sector) and individuals are also interested in the solution and the company’s support.
The objectives of these actors are varied, ranging from the desire to relocalize vegetable production for communities in order to increase their food resilience, to the search for diversification of their activity and their sources of income for farmers.
These farms are set up on areas of a few hectares near cities, to produce organic and local vegetables, and adopt agricultural practices that respect the environment and biodiversity. Depending on the surface area cultivated, they can feed more than 1,000 people on a daily basis and create 2 to 10 local market gardening jobs.
NeoFarm launches a call for projects to identify partner territories
In order to accelerate the development of projects and install market garden farms throughout France, NeoFarm has set up a call for projects for local authorities (link to the dedicated page). This call for projects allows the NeoFarm research department to assist with the first phase of the project: the preliminary study for setting up a farm adapted to the identified land and the local consumption basin.
Several meetings are planned with NeoFarm’s teams (agronomists, engineers, market gardeners, distribution), in order to integrate all the issues of the territory. Some communities are already advanced and are even including these projects in the framework of a territorial food project (PAT), while others are in the more preliminary stages of reflection. This call for projects will be transformed into a permanent offer to meet the growing demand of public actors.
In order to meet the food needs of the French population, market garden farms need to emerge rapidly on the territory. More than 20,000 farms could be set up, with or without NeoFarm’s support. “We are joining forces with local actors and farmers to accelerate the agricultural and ecological transition!” says co-founder Alexia.