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Field Goods, LLC Founder and President Donna Williams stands near a company delivery van.
(Photo courtesy of Heidi Raker, Field Goods)
Field Goods, a Hudson Valley Online Farmers Market, Delivers Farm Fresh Goods
When Donna Williams moved to farm country in the Hudson Valley from New York City, she was inspired to start offering Hudson Valley products to area consumers and businesses as a regional wellness concept in 2011. As a first step, she developed relationships with a dozen area farmers to create Field Goods. Today, Field Goods, now the direct-to-consumer channel of Hudson Harvest, is an integral component in bringing regional produce and artisanal foods from 100 farmers and artisans to 4,000 customers from the Capital District to Westchester County and is the area’s largest locally-focused food distributor in the Hudson Valley region.
“Vegetables and fruit are not the only things being grown locally; it’s the economy, too,” said Williams. “Some farms have seen up to a 180 percent increase in acreage after they partnered with us. No one else on the East Coast is doing what we are doing at that scale.”
Buying thousands of dollars of farm-fresh and artisanal products each week from Upstate New York into Vermont, Field Goods pivoted from pick-up only to a safe, social-distanced home delivery operation after Covid-19 to conveniently bring local food to the masses. “We’ve become a critical vehicle in creating the infrastructure to get products to market and helping farmers and producers to scale their sales and reach,” Williams said. “Field Goods is making it possible for consumers to eat healthier, locally-sourced ingredients while giving food producers a consistent market on a year-round basis. Most importantly, Field Goods is providing hyperlocal, healthful, just-picked produce, and an array of the highest quality dairy, grocery, meat and seafood offerings. Safeguarding our health in the midst of a pandemic is more important than ever and fresh, local food is fundamental to a strong immune system and good health.”
Williams began Field Goods to bridge the distribution gap between small farmers and consumers. With one employee, she began shuttling produce from 80 farmers to 60 customers, working tirelessly to educate consumers about the connection between good food and good health. As a former corporate executive, Williams understood the benefit of keeping employees healthy. She contacted human resource executives with the idea of offering easy access to healthy food as a wellness program and offered Field Goods as a 10-week subscription service called “BeetCamp” designed to encourage employees to eat healthier with companies donating $10 per order. Williams’ efforts in pitching HR departments resulted in partnerships with companies such as Beech-Nut and Fujifilm as well as hundreds of large and small companies. From there, Williams developed relationships to open up pickup sites with community organizations like libraries and schools. A cornerstone of these relationships is fundraiser programs for non-profit organizations. Today, Field Goods can be found at over 200 schools and libraries.
Giving back to communities is a cornerstone of Field Goods’ model. Supporting regional food pantries has been a long-term initiative and this spring, Field Goods offered free “Vote Local Food” yard signs with orders and for each sign, donated $10 to The Food Pantries of the Capital District. Field Goods has recently created two new programs that stem from its commitment to community causes, which have been heightened by the pandemic. “Our Farmers Market” is a program for young people to create a turn-key farmers market for their community. The “Field Goods Gives” is a program in which Field Goods makes donations to participating organizations.
The goal for Williams, long before the pandemic gripped the globe, was to “build a community centered around nourishing ourselves, supporting local growers and producers and fostering a passion in the next generation for supporting regional agriculture.
In June, Valhalla High School student, Magnolia Saalman, had the idea to create a marketplace where her community could have easy access to local farmers products. She learned about Field Goods and with Williams’ help, launched the first Our Farmers Market in Westchester County selling Field Goods products to families. Williams describes the partnership with Saalman’s Magnolia Marketplace as a “wonderful educational initiative to enable kids to lean into their passion for business and sustainable local supply chains by bringing farm-fresh produce to regions without farmers markets nearby.” Magnolia’s Marketplace also offers customers the option of receiving orders by going through a drive-thru pick up to minimize contact.
Founded in 2011 by Donna Williams, Field Goods, LLC delivers to consumers from small, sustainable farms and producers in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Along with its parent company Hudson Harvest, Field Goods offers a wide variety of products ranging from seasonal fruits and vegetables, artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, bulk items, hand-crafted organic Sfoglini pasta to honeycomb, maple syrup and its own line of salsas and sauces. Today, Field Goods has over 100 suppliers and delivers weekly to over 800 consumers. Field Goods is starting to resume its deliveries to the 4,000 customers that pick up their orders at hundreds of business, YMCA, library, and school pickup locations located throughout the Hudson River Valley as well as Westchester County, Fairfield County, Connecticut, and Northern New Jersey. Field Goods offers more than 150 varieties of seasonal produce, fresh or flash-frozen. Field Goods is committed to clean food and ensures that its offerings are certified organic, organically grown or low-spray.
For more information, visit https://stockup.field-goods.com/.
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