The Transylvania Times -

Gaia Herbs Certified As Living Wage Employer - Brevard, NC


May 11, 2017

Courtesy photo

Gaia Herbs employees participate in a groundbreaking ceremony.

Gaia Herbs, North America's leading herbal brand, is now a living wage employer, as certified by the Living Wage Coalition of Transylvania County (LWCTC).

"At Gaia, our people are our strength, and their passion and commitment are reflected in all that we do. That's why Gaia Herbs has become an official Living Wage Employer, certified through Just Economics, whose network in Western North Carolina is the nation's largest living wage certification program for the fair-wage movement," said Gaia Herbs President Angela McElwee. "This designation reflects the values by which we at Gaia Herbs live and operate, and it allows us to invest in our people and help promote a sustainable and just future for our region."

"Our people are at the heart of what we do," said McElwee. "Paying our team a living wage enables us to attract and retain great employees, making it possible for us to continue producing the highest quality herbal products. Providing a living wage is an essential part of Gaia Herbs' mission, vision and values. It not only contributes to the financial and emotional health of our employees, but it is also a smart business strategy that will enable the continuous growth of Gaia and support our local communities."

The LWCTC is a coalition working as a part of Just Economics to promote living wages in Brevard and the surrounding areas by advocating for responsible public policy, participating in the voluntary living wage employer certification program and by educating the community about issues of economic justice through activities like the Western North Carolina Poverty Simulation.

The group also works to involve leaders from low-income communities through the Voices for Economic Justice program.

Courtesy photo

Jason Simmons is a bottling technician at Gaia Herbs.

"Just Economics is happy to have Gaia Herbs join our growing network of Living Wage Certified Employers," said Vicki Meath, the executive director of Just Economics. "It's our belief at Just Economics that as a community, we have to be willing to make changes so that everyone in our region can have a chance to thrive. By paying a living wage, Gaia has taken steps that will help continue the growth of a sustainable economy that works for all, and it speaks volumes about the kind of business and workplace Gaia is."

According to Just Economics, living wages are part of a broad effort to end poverty and inequity, and work toward a more just and sustainable local economy; living wages stimulate the economy through increased consumer spending and the money multiplier effect.

"Living wage certification has a benefit to business as well," said Meath. "Paying a living wage has proven to help employers recruit top talent, make for a more loyal workforce and reduce employee turnover. We appreciate employers like Gaia who invest in their employees and contribute to a more just and sustainable economic community."


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