Samson Rope connects the employees to local food
One of the things we love most at Sustainable Connections is helping to make more local food connections. For the last 7 years, we have been connecting local employers with local farmers in the Farm Fresh Workplaces program, to get deliveries of farm-fresh produce straight from the farm to the office.
These “shares” or boxes of food are also called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares and have been running in Whatcom County since the late 1980s. Investing in a CSA share is the best way to support local farmers and eat local on a budget (saving an average of 30% on organic produce), and are a great addition to any wellness program.
We talked with Patricia Boteler, Employee Engagement Manager at local manufacturing business Samson Rope, who participates in the Farm Fresh Workplace Program to learn more about how the program works and their experience:
Sara: How long has Samson Rope been participating in the Farm Fresh Workplaces Program?
Patricia: This will be our 7th year participating in the Workplace CSA
Sara: How many employees generally participate?
Patricia: We average roughly 25 employee participants. Last year we had 33!
Sara: Does Samson offer any incentives for employees like payroll deduction?
Patricia: We offer payroll deduction, spread out over the course of the 20 weeks program. And, we also subsidize 25% of the cost, to encourage employee participation.
Sara: What has the feedback from staff been?
Patricia: Our employees love participating in the program. Employees love comparing their boxes each week, sharing recipes, and raving about the quality of the food. Other feedback has included:
- Variety of fresh produce that they normally would not try if left to shop for themselves.
- Ease of having it delivered straight to the workplace.
Last year we began offering the Local Choice option, and we received great feedback. Samson’s annual workplace CSA has become one of our favorite traditions of the summer season. At Samson, we believe in promoting a healthy lifestyle, and it’s a joy to see our employees’ excitement each week as they open their boxes full of fresh, organic produce. We also love the economic support it provides our community by purchasing directly from local farmers. Sustainability is important to Samson, and the workplace CSA is a great way to encourage Eating Local First.
Want to be a Farm Fresh Workplace? Sustainable Connections works with employers to offer assistance in getting one set up! See our list of participating CSA farmers, a workplace toolkit, and be in touch for more details or contact Sara Southerland, the Food & Farming Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.