Founded in November 2018, The Farmers is an urban agriculture venture that promotes sustainable living, cultural heritage, and local ecology through food, education, and events. We believe that social enterprise is a powerful driver of change, and that businesses should serve their people, their communities, and the planet. We hope to inspire positive local action around food access and hope to cultivate a conscious community.
Our brand philosophy is best encapsulated through the Malay saying ‘Balik Kampung’. Literally translated as ’return to village’, balik kampung is usually used to describe the journey taken by migrant workers who travel from their places of work back to their hometown during festive seasons such as Hari Raya or Chinese New Year. For us, this concept is central to the philosophy of The Farmers and the values we want to instil.
Firstly, The Farmers is about us returning to our roots by remembering the values of our forefathers and the ways in which they lived and worked the land for sustenance and survival. The Farmers looks to its personal heritage, as well as the heritage of the community it serves for its values.
Secondly, The Farmers seeks to develop a village within the city – a society centred around a production system that truly serves people, their communities, and the planet.
Thirdly, The Farmers will look to humanize our modern food system. The move to urban environments has led to a disconnect between the areas where food is grown and where it is consumed. With this disconnect has come a lack of awareness and interest in how, where, and importantly who is growing our food. We hope to put a face to our food, but more than that, challenge the notion of what a farmer looks like.
This leads to four, The Farmers is centred around supporting women through urban agriculture and workshops focused on skills that may be missing from a modern woman’s education and life experience, but in cultures of the past, represented basic skills for the survival of body and the soul. We hope to engage, educate, and empower women to lead, find financial independence, and take ownership for what is theirs.
Fifth, and most personally, The Farmers is for us the brainchild born during an extended break from the corporate workforce. We travelled across 16 countries for health, for education, to realize the limitation of our own views, to learn new solutions to improve conditions at home, to admire the various kinds of beauty in the world, to find our level internationally, to have something to talk about, to have something to look back upon, and last but not least, to appreciate home.
Lastly and most fundamentally, balik kampung for us is advocating for a simpler existence; knowing more clearly how we fit into the world we inhabit and enjoying the modest pleasures of life. Nothing is so healthy, so pure, so rewarding, as to nurture oneself and the world around you in a loving and sustainable manner, and this is what we hope to promote through The Farmers.
We are smart and funny and a little bit silly (okay, a lot silly) and we love our vegetables! Wanna say hi or join in on the fun?