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Corporate real estate professionals at the CoreNet Global Summit in Seattle this week learned that if they’re not thinking about the kind of food their companies serve employees, they could be missing out on the hunt for exceptional talent. “At Microsoft we’re all about hiring the best and the brightest,” said Mark Freeman, Microsoft’s senior manager of Global Dining Services. “The people coming out of school, they are looking at a dining program as something that’s important to them. They are interested in food, perhaps more than they are interested in the 401K.” Roughly 60,000 people work at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, WA, making it nothing short of a small city; 40,000 meals are served every day. And so, Freeman has set about changing the way that food is processed and served at the headquarters campus. First, there is onsite cultivation of produce, which provides locally sourced foods. Microsoft yields its own crop of lettuce that grows in 55 hydroponic towers interspersed across the campus.

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