As we celebrate the month of gratitude, let us not forget the unsung heroes of the food behind our favorite recipes: farmworkers.
In the fields and packhouses, these dedicated men and women work hard through challenging conditions so we can bring food to our tables. It seems the perfect time to share about one farmworker’s heartwarming success story and the company that made it possible.
Juan Yat came from Guatemala to Windset Farms, BB #:262073 Delta, British Columbia, greenhouse operation as part of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program. Since the program began in 2011, Windset Farms has brought nearly 200 guest workers each season, essential for successful harvests and quality production.
“A friend of mine worked at Windset and told me how great and beautiful Canada was and how great of a company Windset was to work for,” Juan shared. “So that was my first goal, to get to Windset and with my friend’s recommendation, I was able to travel.”
“Yes, I missed my family, but Windset provided me with opportunities not available in my country,” Juan added.
In his years at Windset, Juan was eager to learn new skills and was promoted several times for his efforts and achievements.
Back home in Guatemala, Juan and his wife had small baking equipment and sold homemade bread privately with the hopes to one day own and operate their own bakery. He shared that his Windset career helped him pay off debts, build a home for his family, and pay for his children’s education, something he feared he would never be able to do. Most importantly, it helped him fulfill his and his wife’s dream.
In 2017, Juan and his wife opened their bakery in Guatemala. Knowing he never would have been able to accomplish this dream without his job at Windset and as a sign of his enduring gratitude for the company that brought him back to work year after year and provided him with a path for growth, Juan proudly named his new venture Windset Bakery.
Today, Juan is living the life he always dreamed for his family, and earlier in 2023, his bakery had grown to require his full-time attention. Although his work with Windset Farms has come to an end, his legacy continues to inspire friends and farmworkers everywhere.
The pride that farmworkers take in their work is often evident. And when companies invest in their workers and in their wellbeing, studies show that morale and loyalty rise, leading to longer-lasting relationships and lower recruiting and training costs.
Juan’s story was made possible because of the commitment Windset makes to its workers, and the high standards it achieves in its wellbeing standards and as an Equitable Food Initiative-certified operation.
Juan will always be grateful to his friend for recommending him and grateful to Windset Farms for providing a safe work environment and professional path forward.
Next Juan hopes to open a coffee shop and fine dining restaurant. “When asked about his favorite memories working at Windset, Juan simply stated, “Watching the fruit grow. That was beautiful and I will never forget it.”