The new company benefit: an in-office organic vegetable market
Since I went farming about six weeks ago, our company started an in-office organic vegetable market that opens every Thursday at around noon.
This is how it started: After experiencing farming for a day, I took a hot spring bath, and went to an izakaya to have some drinks and food with the couple who had invited us to farm with them for a day. They have been farming for 10 years and as we continued to converse, I realized that finding an outlet to sell their crops was the key to sustaining their farming business. They said they had about sixty customers that they ship vegetables to every week, and were looking for more customers.
A flash idea came to me: "Why don't we purchase their vegetables as one of the company benefits?" By doing so, the employees will not only enjoy fresh organic vegetables straight from the farm, but also lean about their taste and value. On top of that, it would support the farmers who produce fine crops if we were successful in implementing the "in-office organic vegetable market" and spreading the concept to other companies by word of mouth.
So as an experiment, I decided to start purchasing 10,000yen worth of vegetables every week, and giving them away for free to the employees. However, after some discussion among the leaders, we decided to charge half of the listed price to those who were interested and the other half could be covered by the company; this is simply to maintain fairness among those who can take advantage of the system and those who can't. The first packages of vegetables were delivered on the very first Thursday after I tried farming on the weekend.
The in-office organic vegetable market has been a smash hit. The vegetables evaporate as soon as the market opens. People who obtain some vegetables look happy, content with the reasonable prices, and appreciate the vegetables' freshness and taste (after having them at home.) It became one of the most popular events uniquely invented by e-Jan.
There are many appreciation messages in daily reports, some of which I occasionally share with the farmer couple, and the essays written by them are shared with the company members. This new experience seems to have increased everyone's level of interest towards vegetables. I think it is important to make it a habit to consider what food to put into our bodies, so this is a great solution. If any of you are interested in introducing the same benefit to your company, let me know. I would introduce them to you!