FoodGrads Podcast Episode 57: Building communities and fighting climate change with urban agriculture with Ran Goel, CEO of Fresh City Farms

On episode 57 of the FoodGrads Podcast we interviewed Ran Geol, CEO of Fresh City. Fresh City is an award-winning urban farm and omni-channel retailer. Founder-led, they are on a mission to provide a better life through food. They deliver organic produce, chef-inspired and made from scratch prepared foods, bespoke meats and more to thousands of Greater Toronto Area families. They also farm in Downsview Park, where they also operate a farmer incubator program.

On this episode Ran and Veronica talked about how he started Fresh City in 2011 after leaving his job as a Wall Street lawyer to help change the way people think about and shop for food. As well, what he does as a CEO, why he believes that home delivery is the way to help fight climate change, urban agriculture, his approach to change and his advice to young people thinking about going into this space. If you are a looking for a looking for a positive push that makes you feel that you can actually make a difference with our current` climate situation then you need to listen to this episode.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Youtube, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Show Notes


[1:29] Ran talks about himself and FreshCity Fresh

[7:44] Fresh City Farms and their involvement with Urban Agriculture

[11:52] Ran talking about how he got into the grocery business

[13:47] How much Canadians spend of food compared to other countries

[15:40] Suggestions on how to change the food system without feeling guilt

[19:50] How online groceries can help with climate change

[24:32] Ran’s favourite products

[27:45] Career progression in the grocery industry

[29:03] Skills to help a student progress in the grocery industry

[30:16] Ran’s experience with learning on how to be a leader

[33:44] Ran’s advice to students

Toronto Food Film Festival

Fresh City

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Michael Pollan

Downsview Park Urban Agriculture

Ran Goel’s Tedx Talk

The post-pandemic future: Grocery delivery will save the planet

Ran Goel Interview Quotes

So it kind of gave me hope that a lot of issue could be solved. And so I just started thinking about so far as I was gonna start a social enterprise or a values based business. I wanted it to be in food and I became obsessed with this idea that urban farming was an important way to get people thinking about food.

Ran Goel

That said I do think that sometimes there is too much of a focus on what I can do myself versus the impact I can have on my broader community. And but that I think at it’s core it’s wrestling with power structures to change how food is produced, distributed and sold.

Ran Goel

And I think the key thing is not to get into kind of black and white thinking about you either have to do it all or do nothing or that you need to feel guilty about, what you’re eating or what you’re putting in your mouth.

Ran Goel

I think the key is just to do something, to be honest with you. And then, maybe that step turns into three more steps a year or two or maybe it doesn’t, but at least you’ve moved the ball forward on, on some. That’s really good. And I just, I love the idea of bringing into community.

Ran Goel

Frankly, none of us have an idea of exactly how the industry is gonna evolve. But as long as you’re, committed to to excellence, committed to improving your skillset and are hungry, so to speak I think there’s a lot of opportunity in the food.

Ran Goel

Because I think that many people might go about it differently. And how you be a leader in one team might be different to how you show leadership in another way. So building up skillset, especially when you’re young, It would be good to have a lot of opportunities, do volunteering and that to really develop that and just understand what it means to be, a leader.

Ran Goel

So I think that that’s the key thing is like no matter where you find yourself, even if it’s not where you wanted to find yourself, or you want to graduate to something better. I think being able to come to work every day, show up and learn as much as you can try to develop those people skills.

Ran Goel

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