Sunripe Certified Brands CEO Jon Esformes Discusses Social Responsibility and New Initiatives
PALMETTO, FL - With 2017 underway, companies across the board are renewing and re-energizing their commitment to social responsibility, their employees, and bringing more resources and opportunities to each individual at every level of their operations. From the hand that picks the produce to the team member that packs the food-safety certified fruits and vegetables, Sunripe is one of those companies increasing its efforts to support both its evolving program and the people who have helped to build it.
CEO of Sunripe Certified Brands Jon Esformes, joined us to pull back the curtain on the company’s initiatives moving forward, and how the program is as much about the people as it is about the produce. How Sunripe grows is just as important as what the company grows, and that starts with a safe and fair workplace for employees.
Situated in some of the most fertile micro-climates in Florida, Jon told us the story of how Sunripe has been growing its Fair Food Program Certified organic and conventional strawberry and tomato programs, allowing the team to recruit more people.
“For us it’s a unique opportunity to provide more work for our employees who live in the area, and also keep people working close to their home,” Jon shared. “A mother and father being able to be with their children when they eat breakfast in the morning and when they eat dinner at night, is what we want for our families and for anyone who works for Sunripe Certified Brands.”
To have a sustainable farming operation, you’ve need to have sustainable land. To have sustainable land, you need to have a fully-integrated family–that’s from the ground where the plants are cultivated to all those individuals working throughout the company. In other words, Sunripe’s employees are a valued-extension of its family. To build on this idea, the company hosted its annual Feria de Salud, Sunripe’s Health Fair for employees, which the company executed in December, for the 4th year in a row.
“This is really about celebrating the health of the people that work at Sunripe Certified Brands, as well as the way that we celebrate the health of this land, and the health of these strawberry and tomato plants,” Jon said. “This program allows us to go ahead and provide the wraparound services to keep people safe.”
Sunripe organized a variety of services at the Health Fair, from the Ronald McDonald House providing dental services, to local physician Dr. Brown, who brought his team to the event to administer glaucoma checks and vision tests. The company adheres to the most rigorous of standards, from consistent audits and checks, to health benefits that keep employees more than safe, they keep them happy. Sunripe also publicly advocates for human rights issues and are proactively partnering with other like-minded organizations to combat health and safety challenges within the agricultural industry.
“I want to thank everyone that shows up 365-days a year to work with us at Sunripe Certified Brands,” Jon reflected as he took in the expanse of the company’s efforts and the family they continue to build.
So, what does “Sunripe Certified,” mean? In a nutshell, it is a commitment. Sunripe Certified signifies the company's deliberate approach to the thousands of daily tasks that fulfill its brand commitments in the areas of sustainability, social responsibility, food safety, and quality. But Sunripe Certified also means so much more. Sunripe believes that its passion for agriculture and its people shines through in the products that the company grows and shares with the industry and consumers.
Passionate. Happy. Healthy. The Sunripe Certified way.