Homegrown Organic Farms Earns Equitable Food Initiative Certification in the Citrus Category; Scott Mabs and LeAnne Ruzzamenti Comment
PORTERVILLE, CA - We love a company that loves its people! Homegrown Organic Farms has revealed advancements to its citrus program with the expansion of its Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certified acreage and organic commodities, making it the first to earn EFI certification in the citrus category.
“We are excited to continue to expand our EFI-certified programs for our customers and consumers. Caring for the land and people have always been a foundational value for both AgriCare and Homegrown. It’s only fitting for our family of companies to partner with programs like EFI that verify and increase the effectiveness of the work we’ve always done,” said Scott Mabs, Chief Executive Officer of Homegrown Organic Farms.
This newly certified acreage joins the company’s fully EFI-certified stonefruit and blueberry programs, the first of which earned certification in 2020.
As explained in a release, the Equitable Food Initiative is a certification process that develops partnerships between farm and packing facility employees and their management, helping to create a trusting work environment while improving overall working conditions, cultivating confidence and teamwork between farmworkers and management, and building an overall culture of commitment and collaboration.
“Homegrown Organic Farms embodies the true spirit of EFI, going well beyond our standards to implement a people-centered operation that engages workers in every aspect of the operation,” says LeAnne Ruzzamenti, Director of Marketing Communications for EFI. “Their commitment and recent growth with the program bring the first citrus to EFI's Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured label, something I know will excite socially conscious consumers wishing to identify and support the very best growers.”
Homegrown Organic Farms has partnered with retailers and distributors to ship EFI-certified organic citrus to stores since early November, the press release stated. Certified varieties including Navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges, Blood oranges, Clementines, Tango, and Gold Nugget Mandarins will continue shipping into the new year, and the supplier’s fully certified blueberry program will start its California berry season in mid-April.
In addition, Homegrown Organic Farms has partnered with its sister company, AgriCare, to achieve the expanded EFI acreage and commodities, representing nearly 11,000 acres of EFI-certified fresh produce crops together.
Keep reading ANUK for more updates on fresh produce trailblazers like this one.