Toyota staff grow their own lunch

Growth plants

Something for the weekend: Unhappy with the canteen food at your workplace? Then why not follow the example of Toyota staff and grow your own while enjoying some peas and quiet?

Employees at the car manufacturer’s headquarters in Epsom, Surrey are creating an allotment on site, recycling and re-using old tyres, desk bins and pallets to grow their own fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

The produce will be used for the menu in the building’s cafe and restaurant, including apple pies made with fruit from the native orchard in the grounds. Money raised will be donated to Toyota’s corporate charity, the MND Association.

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Other staff wellbeing initiatives at the Eco-HQ include cultivating the area around the headquarter’s wildlife pond and planting succulent species such as red valerian, houseleek and orpine in the walkway for staff to walk through and enjoy during breaks.

Staff have seen a notable increase in wildlife including butterflies, bees, deer and foxes, while frogs and toads have been spawning around its pond. Bee orchids are also growing on site and the company has installed beehives in the grounds. Who would not want to come to work in such idyllic surroundings?

According to John Ryan, Toyota GB’s environmental affairs specialist, the organisation is constantly looking for ways to support the health and wellbeing of employees, as well the local community. He explained that Eco-HQ and the new allotment allowed it to do both at the same time.

“Gardening is proven benefit both physical and mental wellbeing, while also giving our staff fresh fruit and vegetable to show for their efforts. We can’t wait to see what our first harvest brings,” he said.

Here at Employee Benefits, we are fully on board with Toyota’s green-fingered staff, as we all love an allotment and appreciate how, with a bit of thyme, we can brussel up lots of fresh produce for our lunch.