Fresh, From Field To Fork-holder

Fresh, From Field To Fork-holder

Boston Organics' home delivery service carves out a phenomenal market in the Greater Boston region for organic growers.

Boston Organics has been delivering fresh organic produce to doorsteps all over the Greater Boston area since 2002. Hurried busy moms and young professionals no longer have to trek to markets to buy days-old semi-fresh produce and haul them home. With quick online ordering, grocery shopping has never been easier.

Convenience is what distinguishes Boston Organics from farm share programs and conventional stores. Boston Organics is a pioneering home delivery service in New England. It delivers 100% USDA certified organic produce. Foodies can choose the size of their weekly or bi-weekly box and, using a 'No-List,' can opt out of veggies or fruit not to their liking.

BOSTON MARKET PHENOM: Boston Organics founder Jeff Barry drives a business philosophy that ensures his loyalty to organic farm vendors.

There are no upfront cost or membership fees. With reasonable price points, Boston Organics targets city singles and young adults.

As the business has grown, so has the list of optional grocery items, called 'add-ons.' Choices includes pantry products from local companies such as Taza Chocolate, Equal Exchange coffee, or bread from Iggy's. For businesses looking to jettison junk food, fruit boxes are great for the employee lounge or break room.

At the core of Boston Organics' business principles is a strong commitment to sustainability, according to founder Jeff Barry. "'Planet, Profit and People' is a concept we take seriously. A truly successful, enduring business must operate in a way that benefits all of its stakeholders."

Certified through the Sustainable Business Leader Program, Barry put into place eco-conscious protocols at his warehouse and fulfillment center in Charlestown, including motion-detector lights that shut off after five minutes of no activity.

Last year, working with business partner Save that Stuff, the company composted 32,270 pounds of produce and produce wastes. It recycled more than 20,000 pounds of cardboard.

Committed to New England organic farmers

Boston Organics commitment to stakeholder includes the New England farmers who feed Barry's business. A container called "Dogma Box" allows shoppers to receive produce exclusively sourced locally and regionally from organic farmers.

Michael Docter, from Winter Moon Farm in Hadley, Mass., has been a vendor for three years. "Before each planting season begins, we sit down with the folks at Boston Organics and together we plan what crops to grow," says Docter. "Their willingness to provide season-long commitment up-front makes them totally unique among wholesale buyers.

"This spring, I'm expanding my growing and storage facility. I wouldn't be able to do it without the support and commitment from Boston Organics. It's a real partnership. They pay a fair price for produce which gives us an incentive to grow the highest quality produce we can."

Boston Organics buys large amounts in bulk, and can guarantee their order for the entire season. That makes them a totally different wholesale purchaser than a grocery store or restaurant.

Watch for more on this market phenomenon in an upcoming issue of American Agriculturist.

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