News from the future! Youth lead the vertical farming movement
This article was originally published in the Global Times, a satirical newspaper from the year 2030 published by EWB Canada. The Global Times shares a positive vision of the future and uses humour and imagination to inform, inspire and motivate people to build a better world for everyone. Learn more and take action through the Hello 2030 campaign at hello2030.ca!
I recently toured a vertical farm run by Farm Teams of the Ward (FTW) in downtown Toronto. The building is 24 floors and grows 56 fruit and vegetable varieties, supplying a third of the city’s fresh produce. This leading social enterprise operates in all major Canadian cities and offers daily tours to raise public awareness about sustainable food production and consumption, and reusable waste.
Since Canada’s government began creating incentives for sustainable production and consumption in 2020, and the crackdown on the biggest waste generators in 2025, vertical farming has been booming. These high-density plantations not only produce high volumes of nutritious foods and create skilled jobs, the farms produce little to no waste or pollution – all plant-based waste products are recycled into fertilizers and animal feeds, and FTW partners only with delivery companies using electric vehicles. Thanks to operations like this, food waste is at an all time low in Canada, making it hard to believe that in 2018 one third of the food grown, produced or transported was wasted.
Much of this shift in policy and practice has been youth-led, which explains FTW’s integration into school curriculums and paid student placements. Recent studies show that youth are less likely to purchase products from polluters, which gives companies all the more reason to ensure their facilities and production processes are sustainable. The bottom line is that youth are not only future leaders, they are leaders now – and companies know it.
Editor’s note: FTW recently underwent a name-change from The Ward Farm Teams (WTF) because the acronym is commonly associated with the longstanding World Tiramisu Fund, which ensures global dessert security.