Here’s another reason to love RP’s Pasta. This small Madison company purchased CSA shares for all 24 of their employees for the 2015 season! Their tagline is ‘From Farm to Fork With A Conscience,’ and their conscience extends to their employees’ well-being, too.
They’re partnering with Los Jalapeños CSA farmed by Juan Gonzalez Torres at the Farley Center’s Farm Incubator in Verona. Juan specializes in crops like jalapeños, Mexican squash, squash blossoms, pápalo, and tomatillos.
“RP’s Pasta is excited to be participating in Los Jalapeños CSA to promote healthy lifestyles for all our employees and their families,” said staffer Anne McHale. “We use local, fresh ingredients in our pasta and value supporting area farmers. CSA makes sense for RP’s!”
For the past two years, FairShare has worked with businesses across southern Wisconsin, and since last fall, in Dubuque, Iowa, to help bring CSA shares to their employees. Among the successes:
At least seven workplace CSA sites have started in Dubuque, Iowa this spring, where the CSA model is fairly new to consumers. Dubuque businesses are working with Small Family CSA Farm in La Farge and Two Onion Farm in Belmont.
Research Products’ consumer division, Aprilaire, came on board as FairShare’s first workplace CSA piloting company in fall 2012, and has set the bar for workplace CSA. CSA is an integral part of their Health Matters initiative, which focuses on creating a culture of health in the workplace. Their Madison office has consistently seen a sign-up rate above 25 percent. They are opening their Poynette site to the general public this year. They work with Wholesome Harvest in Ft. Atkinson.
Under the leadership of Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Dane County, Wisc., is offering workplace CSA to employees at their City County Building, Fen Oak, and Northport offices. County employees can apply for an additional $25 or $50 CSA rebate (first come, first served, for a total of up to $5,000 for 2015), in addition to the CSA rebate employees are entitled to through their health insurance. Dane County partners with Vermont Valley Community Farm in Blue Mounds, Sprouting Acres in Stoughton, and Elderberry Hill and Equinox Community Farm (both in Waunakee).
There are several new workplace CSA sites in the Madison area. Bethanee Wright, a new farmer at Winterfell Acres in Blanchardville, hooked up with the employees at BioFERM Energy Systems in Research Park in west Madison (see one of her shares, right). Keewaydin Farms in Viola and Vermont Valley are serving two locations for Exactech this year.
“It’s rewarding to see how excited employees get about the opportunity to take home a box of farm-fresh, gorgeous, organic produce each week,” said FairShare’s Julie Garrett. “Employees love the convenience of workplace CSA, and I hear people express a lot of gratitude for their companies for making the opportunity available.”
The Workplace CSA Toolkit includes survey, graphic and communication templates; how-to instructions; incentive ideas; educational handouts for employees; and examples from other company’s programs to help make it easy to add workplace CSA to company wellness programs. FairShare offers free one-on-one coaching by phone or in person.
To learn more about bringing CSA shares to your workplace, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (608) 226-0300.