Equitable Food Initiative Announces Marketing Advisory Council; LeAnne Ruzzamenti Details
WASHINGTON, DC - As Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) continues to build out its network to bring more Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured® produce to market, it is heightening its focus on social responsibility and working to expand from primarily B2B marketing to B2C outreach to offer more value to its partners. To do so, the organization has formed a marketing advisory council to provide insight to the EFI Board of Directors, staff, and certified growers.
“The amount of experience offered by our marketing advisory council is staggering and provides for broad-reaching dialogue about current and future consumer messaging that will be instrumental to the expansion of the Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured label,” said LeAnne Ruzzamenti, Director of Marketing Communications. “The powerful insights and challenge to assumptions help us stretch our own boundaries of how we think about the program and talk about it with consumers.”
According to a press release, the marketing advisory council is currently tasked with evaluating consumer trends, expanding the dialogue around the core pillars of EFI’s social responsibility and workforce development programs, and providing context for messages that will resonate with today’s consumers. The council comprises a diverse set of members from various organizational landscapes, who will provide guidance for consumer outreach to boost awareness of EFI as the brand continues to grow.
The recruitment process for the council lasted nearly a year to ensure an appropriate diversity of voices and roles. Current members of the marketing advisory council include:
- Danielle Nierenberg, President and Co-Founder of Food Tank
- Chris Padgett, Marketing and Digital Strategy Leader for CPG companies
- Chisara Ehiemere, Senior Research Lead, ROSI, NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business
- Christopher Pendergraft, Digital Marketing Strategist
- Yareli Esteban, Chief Executive Officer of Strategar
- Lori Taylor, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Produce Moms
- Gissel Neri Corcoles, Student President of Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences
- Miguel Campos, Health and Safety Farm Manager
As noted in the release, the council had an initial virtual orientation in late 2020 and during its first meeting in early 2021 developed both an existing audience and consumer insights survey to learn more about social responsibility priorities and how consumers educate themselves about socially responsible products.
The nearly 300 responses showcased a clear consumer interest in worker rights, with the audience reporting that improved working conditions for farmworkers was the most important value of the EFI program, and 80 percent of respondents would pay more for produce grown by socially responsible operations.
The marketing advisory council will meet quarterly and address specific marketing and messaging questions as developed by the EFI marketing and communication staff. Results from the most recent consumer insights survey will be shared with the advisory council later this month.
As always, stay tuned as AndNowUKnow brings you the latest updates on the fresh produce industry.