THERE IS SO MUCH TO ADMIRE ABOUT THE SEASONS . . .
In particular, the idea of a cycle. The repetition inherent in a cycle can bring comfort and familiarity. It can also bring experimentation and, eventually, wisdom.
We're in the throes of many cycles at the moment - winter is deepening, the new year is underway, and a new president will soon be inaugurated.
But some cycles don't come with such definitive regularity. Some challenges come up when you least expect them.
In last week's newsletter we shared some goals for 2017, including a vow to 'approach a challenge differently that we have done in previous years'. This week, we're doing just that.
Long-time GFJ users might recall a series of newsletters that we published in March of 2014, centering around a job post from Cascadian Farms. The job description seemed not only to comply with our editorial policy, but to be a highly enticing and rare opportunity - a full-time, year-round, salaried organic farming position with extensive benefits. But because the job was posted by the parent company of Cascadian Farms, which is General Mills, we paused. We asked a lot of questions of ourselves, and of the folks at General Mills, who were exceptionally responsive and willing to engage with us about a difficult decision. We received a lot of enlightening and deeply thoughtful feedback from the GFJ community (no surprise there). And ultimately, our hesitation in posting the job resulted in the position being filled elsewhere and the conversation coming to a natural end. But afterward, as we digested the questions and feedback, we found ourselves wondering if we would do the same thing again. Did our decision fully represent our company's values, or did it prevent us from seeing those values more clearly?
Last week, we had the chance to answer that question when a similar farming position appeared in our job list. This time, we decided to approve the job, but not before we reached out again to General Mills to remind them of our history, and ensure that they were comfortable with us highlighting this job, once again, in a somewhat different light.
Not only did they remember our dialogue, but they were thoughtful and responsive. They wanted to share how General Mills has continued to take action on climate change and soil health, and how conversations like the one we started with them back in March of 2014 - and the feedback that we passed along from our readers - helped hone their efforts. And we at GFJ couldn't help but notice how much this type of communication, with employers and job seekers and other members of the GFJ community, has contributed so significantly to our growth.
It's possible to get so set in our own ways that we forget how we are all working toward the same goal - in this case, food security for everyone, grown in ways that nourish our planet and rebuild resources. Please don't mistake our new perspective for the pretense that every large food corporation is making positive changes - or that any individual company is doing everything perfectly right. We simply want to acknowledge that there is so much work to be done, together.
If you're applying for the job, or know someone who is, we'd love to know how you feel about the post. If you're surprised at how things have evolved since 2014, please don't hesitate to share your thoughts and questions. For our part, we promise to continue to seek out ways that everyone can work toward our shared beliefs in 2017 and beyond.
Taylor & Dorothy
Co-Founders, Good Food Jobs