Healthy Workplaces - Organic Valley
Organic Valley | La Farge, WI: Cultivating Overall Wellness
One might expect companies that produce healthful foods to facilitate nutritious eating at work-and Organic Valley, a 20-year-old cooperative farmer-owned organic food company in La Farge, Wisconsin, doesn't disappoint. For example, the company's 360 employees can help themselves to a cooler full of (complimentary) selections from Organic Valley's line of 130 products, including organic milk, organic juice, cheese and yogurts. But that's not all…
Everything else was a 45-minute commute from the office, but the yoga classes were right here."
Class Acts. Organic Valley's staffers can sign up for a wide range of cooking classes, which the company sponsors on site throughout the year. Taught by local food aficionados, the courses usually run four to six weeks and cover topics that include planning and preparing balanced organic meals, healthy eating for children and learning to read nutrition labels.
Eating Well Made Easy. Organic Valley's company café, The Milky Way, features a variety of healthful meals (and fresh breads) prepared from fresh organic ingredients-at very reasonable prices. "I usually spend $3 to $4 on lunch and I'll have a salad with organic local vegetables and chicken in a citrus sauce," says Aaron Miller, 31, the company's event coordinator. Because the cafeteria enables him to make smart food choices without spending a fortune, healthful eating has become a no-brainer, says Miller.
Group Exercise, No Commute Required. Since there isn't a fitness center within 20 miles of the company's rural headquarters, hitting the gym for a midday workout isn't an option. Those looking to exercise during the day can walk (or run) on the outdoor mile-long trail on the property. The company also brings in fitness professionals to teach daily group classes-including Jazzercise, yoga and kickboxing. (During "off" hours, The Milky Way transforms into an exercise space.) "Three years ago, I started taking the yoga classes after work once a week to help recover from a water-skiing accident. Everything else was a 45-minute commute from the office, but the yoga classes were right here," says Gloria Joseph, 39, a quality assurance manager. "The focus on employee well-being is one of the things that really drew me to the company." -L.H.