New Leaf to Raise Starting Wage to $12 per Hour

Beginning on January 1, 2016 New Leaf Community Markets will implement new wage scales for all store positions, and the starting wage for all New Leaf store staff will increase from $10.30 to $12.00 per hour. New Leaf has always had an internal starting wage that is higher than the federal and state minimum, and offers a generous compensation and benefits package. The company’s new starting wage will be higher than California’s new starting rate that also goes into effect on January 1, 2016. California’s starting wage will increase from $9.00 to $10.00 on the first of the year.

“We fundamentally believe that businesses are connected to the prosperity of the communities they serve. New Leaf Community Markets was founded 30 years ago on the idea that business should be a force for good—serving our staff, our communities, our vendor partners, and our planet—in addition to the bottom line,” said Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, New Leaf’s parent company.

“Recently, we’ve become increasingly concerned about the cost of living and the inability of many fully-employed individuals to earn an income that allows them to be self-sufficient. As a result, we have initiated a long-term plan to be supportive of a fair and living wage for employees, and competitive with our compensation,” she added.

New Leaf and New Seasons are committed to leading the grocery industry on total compensation including wages, benefits and discounts, to support its employees’ ability to thrive in the communities where they live and work. When people are paid more and can afford to buy more, the positive effects are seen throughout the community.

Collie stated, “We will not be raising our prices. Funding this increase in a way that is financially sound allows us to consistently deliver great service and experiences to our customers, and remain true to our mission and values. Bottom line: we will find efficiencies in how we operate our stores as we continue to create amazing experiences for our customers, and recognize employees for finding solutions to streamline and improve operations.”

In addition to increasing the starting wage, the pay rate for any New Leaf staff whose pay rate falls below the new wage scale will move to the minimum of the new scale. Staff members who have been with the company for two or more years will also receive an additional adjustment based on tenure.

About New Leaf Community Markets
An organic and natural grocery company with seven stores including a location at 150 San Mateo Rd, Half Moon Bay, New Leaf has been serving the community for 30 years. New Leaf is committed to offering customers choices that have the most beneficial impact on their health and the health of the environment. Helping customers make informed decisions is an integral part of this commitment. A wholly owned subsidiary of New Seasons Market since November 2013, New Leaf is the first grocer in California to achieve B Corporation certification, which means that New Leaf uses the power of business to solve social and economic problems. New Leaf’s mission, to nourish and sustain our community, is reflected in the 10 percent of profits given annually to support local nonprofits working to improve the quality of life.

About New Seasons Market
New Seasons Market is the ultimate neighborhood grocery store and a champion for healthy regional food systems. Beginning in 2000 with a single Portland store, today it runs16 stores company-wide −15 New Seasons Markets in Oregon and Southwest Washington, as well as one store in San Jose, Calif. It also owns and operates five New Leaf Community Markets in Northern California. New Seasons is dedicated to cultivating community and delivering trademark customer service that lives up to its reputation as “the friendliest store in town.” Its stores offer a wide array of local organic produce at season’s peak, humanely raised meats from animals fed or finished on a non-GMO diet, sustainably harvested seafood, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic artisan breads, handmade freshly prepared foods and unique, artisanal local finds alongside favorite classic brands. It’s also a leader in sustainability, progressive employment and giving back to community, donating 10 percent of after-tax profits to local nonprofits and community organizations. As a result of its mission-driven approach, New Seasons became the first grocer in the world to become a certified B Corporation, which recognizes companies committed to using the power of business for good, taking as much care of staff, community and environment as they do their business.