Workplace CSA programs
As more companies understand the importance of employee wellness, workplace CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs are becoming more common. Does your company offer a CSA program for employees?
What is a CSA?
Imagine a box of beautiful, fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables that shows up on your doorstep once a week from a farm near you. This dream is actually a reality, known as CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. Think of it as a subscription for fresh produce deliveries. It’s a popular way for farmers to sell their food directly to consumers, and for people to support local agriculture in their region.
CSA programs are growing in popularity, as more people try to incorporate healthy eating into their daily routine. A workplace CSA program makes healthy eating easy by delivering produce directly to employees at work. It removes the barriers that stop people from buying fresh produce at stores or farmers’ markets, such as lack of time and inconvenient location.
Workplace CSAs improve employee wellness and morale
Companies choose to offer workplace CSA programs because of the many advantages they bring, especially for employee wellness and morale.
We all know that eating healthy can improve wellness and prevent chronic disease. However, most Americans don’t get enough fresh produce. A workplace CSA program is a great way to increase employees’ fruit and vegetable intake. Here’s why:
• CSA produce is fresher, more appealing, and lasts longer.
• Workplace CSA programs make it easy and convenient to get fresh produce, increasing employees’ access to fruits and vegetables.
• The natural progression of the seasons offers a variety of produce choices. An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but it gets boring after a while.
• CSA programs encourage people to try unfamiliar fruits and vegetables, expanding their healthy menu choices.
In addition to employees’ physical health, workplace CSA programs lead to improved employee morale. Participants report that the CSA pickup is a highlight of their week, and that it’s fun and exciting to get different fruits and vegetables each time. A workplace CSA program can help to build a sense of community among employees, as they share ideas and recipes about the food. Many will feel proud to be supporting local farms and eating sustainably. Finally, it helps to reinforce the message that the company cares about its employees and promotes a culture of health.
By encouraging healthy eating and improving staff wellness and morale, companies will see increased productivity and job satisfaction, decreased absenteeism, and lower healthcare costs. They will also experience improved recruitment and retention by offering something that many companies don’t. A workplace CSA program is a great addition to your corporate benefits package.
How do we get started with a workplace CSA?
Before starting a workplace CSA program, it’s important to get buy-in from leadership and employees. When your company decides to go for it, remember that not all CSAs are created equal. While choosing a CSA program, consider these variables:
• Farms: How many farms contribute to the CSA? What variety of produce do they offer? Do they use sustainable farming practices?
• Choice: How much choice do employees have in selecting their fruits and vegetables (if any)?
• Convenience: How frequently will the CSA deliver? Is online ordering available?
• Cost: What is the cost per employee, per delivery? Will your company offer any subsidization for the CSA to reduce costs for employees?
By taking into account these factors, your company can choose a workplace CSA program that’s a good match for the employees. It’s a great way to make healthy eating easy, delicious, and fun!
Tiffany Neal, MPH, MCHES
Health Educator and Writer for Alfrea
Alfrea cultivates healthy workplaces and communities through the power of fresh food, offering farm-to-workplace delivery and customized wellness packages that educate and engage employees.
Ready to transform the health and happiness of your employees or community? Contact us to find out how Alfrea can help you meet your wellness goals. To learn more about our Workplace CSA Program Click here.