Why Fresh Fruit Is Important For Our Corporate Culture: The Development of the Sourcing International Garden
Innovation. Sustainability. Humanity.
Shared values are what creates a feeling of belonging and help us to keep developing and advancing. We do our best to live our values, and that is how we arrived at the idea of the Sourcing International Garden. The garden is intended to encourage us to approach things differently and think in new ways. And besides, it’s pretty cool to eat fruit from your own garden.
What is the Sourcing International Garten and how is it supposed to encourage us to consider certain things from new perspectives?
Well, the typical office fruit basket full of mealy apples and brown bananas felt a little too hackneyed to us. We wanted something less reminiscent of the U.S. comedy series “The Office” – something that would represent an employee benefit with a more modern and responsible twist. The solution was our own garden. Unfortunately, such an agricultural undertaking proved to be somewhat difficult in the centre of Vienna – and since avocados, papayas, and kiwis aren’t subject to ideal growing conditions in Vienna, we struck up a partnership with the young start-up CrowdFarming. In contrast to other great ideas of our time, the concept of CrowdFarming was not conceived by programmers in a garage, but instead during work on an actual orange plantation. The key principle is the elimination of intermediates in the sale of produce.
What is the benefit of foregoing intermediary trade?
In short, it allows people to buy organic produce directly from farmers. This means that small growers can organise their production precisely to meet demand, with the certainty that their products will be sold for a specified price and consumed. This in turn enables them to improve environmental and labour conditions in the countryside, while consumers can enjoy the freshest fruits and vegetables harvested directly off the field. In addition, the direct purchasing concept reduces transportation paths and shortens long cold chains, thereby decreasing the CO2 footprint of foodstuffs. CrowdFarming offers a platform for selling and buying products, logistics for shipping, customer support, and public relations instruments to increase awareness.
What, then, is the Sourcing International Garden?
We are one of the first companies to establish its own garden in cooperation with CrowdFarming. In more concrete terms: Our garden features 35 trees including two mango, eight orange, six avocado and two peach trees. It also contributes to supporting 116 agricultural workers and saving 600 kg of CO2 as well as 135 kg of food waste.
And the best thing? Our team receives more than 700 kg of fresh fruit delivered straight to our door every year. Whereas fruit found in supermarkets is often harvested many days or even weeks before hitting the shelves there (which you can often taste), the fruit from our garden arrives at our office no more than 72 hours after being picked. We know exactly who we are buying our products from, and we know the farmers are getting paid fairly for their work. And let us tell you, the flavour of our fruit is unmatched.
What does our team think?
“To me, besides being a cool and enjoyable employee benefit, this initiative shows that Sourcing International is eager to assume responsibility with regard to current pressing issues. I also think that such a programme reflects and shapes a corporate culture: One of the effects it can have is to motivate staff members to engage more intensively with the topic of sustainability in their private lives as well.” – Nikolaus Sommer, Junior Consultant at Sourcing International
Interested in our garden? Take a look at it here and learn more about the farmers who grow our fruit.
SOURCING INTERNATIONAL is not an exclusively Austrian undertaking. It is a joint venture formed by the fusion of Höllwarth Consulting and 42virtual. The two companies have existed for many years and have frequently cooperated successfully on large projects.
"The consolidation of experience in a close and professional cooperation allows SOURCING INTERNATIONAL to provide high efficiency and offer a broad spectrum of services."
Mag. Oliver Lindlbauer