Water in the Fields is an effort by Episcopal Farmworkers Ministry (EFwM), in partnership with Positive Company, to enable life-saving hydration to NC farmworkers working in incredibly harsh conditions.
Farmworkers work long hours in the hot sun, and they are unable to easily carry water with them as they work. Water is provided by the farm at the 2 ends of the field, but a row may take 1-2 hours for a worker to complete. A worker should drink water every 15 minutes, and reducing that to once every 1 or 2 hours puts them at severe risk of dehydration and heat related illness.
Positive Company worked with EFwM to design a hydration pouch that attaches to a belt, choose compostable, biodegradable materials, source and manage manufacturing, develop messaging, design the crowdfunding campaign and manage all PR and promotion of the campaign.
Developing a Product, an Identity, Brand Messaging and a Crowdfunding Campaign
Positive Company developed a product and campaign to address the difficulties farmworkers face to stay hydrated.
We designed a personal water carrying pouch to be attached to a belt and worn in a way that it does not compromise mobility. The pouch fits a variety of different bottle sizes, with one full bottle included when the pouch is first given to the farmworker.
The pouches are made of 100% biodegradable materials, with the understanding that some pouches may unintentionally be left out in the fields.
Through farmworker interviews and discussions, EFwM and Designbox learned of their significant hydration issues. EFwM has many long-range and ongoing efforts to improve overall working conditions for farmworkers. In addition to this work, EFwM wished to empower farmworkers immediately with individual tools to improve their hazardous conditions.
Using Crowdfunding to Bring Awareness & Support
This project was part of our dedication to helping our communities. We had never understood just how desperate the situation is for the migrant farmworkers who are helping deliver our daily food. One of the many difficulties they face is suffering dehydration to an unconscionable and health-crisis level.
We learned about the work of the Episcopal Farmworkers Ministry with NC migrant farmworkers and decided to partner with them to help reduce some of their suffering. We also hoped to make this “invisible” population more visible.
We developed every aspect of the crowdfunding campaign:
• graphic design
• messaging and writing
• illustration and iconography
• reward strategy
• social media and email campaigns
The first year of the Water in the Fields campaign raised $13,096 (Indiegogo plus direct contributions). The Ministry spent $11,843 to purchase 1,625 custom-designed personal water carriers, with bottles of Gatorade, distributed to NC farmworkers. The remainder was used to begin producing satchels for the following season.