Today FM: August 1st 2022

Align Farm Group prides itself on “self-disruption”. Constantly improving their employment practices and setting a benchmark for the rest of the industry, they have been recognised for their work with a Primary Industries Good Employer Award. With a 30-strong team, they operate five dairy farms, one support dairy farm and a market garden. CEO Rhys Roberts spoke to Rural Exchange’s Hamish McKay and Dominic George about prioritising the health and wellness of their team and challenging the status quo.

The concept of team is front and centre at Align Farms, with the organisation providing their staff with health checks, health insurance for staff and their families and time off for voluntary endeavours. They’ve also recently introduced a market garden and supply their staff with food weekly. “We’re lucky on the farm. We can supply food and the cost to get to work in the mornings is pretty cheap, with a motorbike going 500 metres from house to cow shed. There are of benefits apart from just alary when you work out in the rural communities and I think, at the moment with higher inflation, the real benefits of a career in rural industry are coming to fruition.”

Align also use an app which allows their employees to share how they’re feeling, “it’s an app that we purchased. It’s called KYND, which is Know Your Numbers Dashboard. What it does is allows the teams to go, on probably monthly or fortnightly and record things. We then collate data, so we don’t know who they are. But we can tell you how many people are signalling red, green, or orange for depression, through to whether they have good friends, where they have good community connections, whether they have good workmates, anxiety, you name it, we can collate it. Then we collate all that data and every fortnight we pick a different indicator and try and work out how we can improve that within our team. It’s been really, really beneficial to our business.”

Listen to the full interview between Hamish McKay, Dominic George and Rhys Roberts below.