Helderberg Market - 2010 Year End Summary

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY

Helderberg Market

Sarah Gordon, owner of SAGE (Sarah Avery Gordon Environmental) Consulting in Albany, has been designing www.FarmieMarket.com as what she hopes to be the first successful e-commerce opportunity for all interested farmers throughout the Hilltowns.

More specifically, the goals of the website are to:

  • Increase local demand for Hilltown agricultural products;
  • Increase the volume of direct producer-to-consumer sales;
  • Increase the economic feasibility of rural and regional economies;
  • Decrease the amount of time required for farmers to market their goods, thereby increasing time spent on agricultural productivity;
  • Capture a consumer base large enough to support a growing Hilltowns agricultural community; and
  • Employ modern technologies to overcome the barriers of a traditional farmers' market, while capitalizing on the popularity of online shopping.

Gordon provides the quality control for the foods being sold on the website.

"If I show up, and your potatoes are looking like something a customer's not going to be very happy with, I'm going to give them a refund," she said this spring before the site launched. "I don't want to send something out there that's going to damage the reputation of this resource."

She will, herself, turn a small profit from these transactions.

"The farmer sets his price, and the farmer gets 100 percent of the asking price," Gordon said. "On top of the farmer's price, I'll assess a 23-percent commission, and add it to the price from the farmer. That will pay for delivery expenses, my time, and my staff."

She said at the group's organizational meeting, "The lack of local markets, I think, is seriously contributing to the decreased profits that we're seeing in agriculture, and, as profits drop, people are seeing more pressure to do something profitable with their land. That leads to subdivisions, and people turning their agricultural land into residential plots."

Altamont Enterprise - December 30, 2010