NatureSweet Launches EFI Past Milestone With Newly Certified Facility
JALISCO, MX - NatureSweet’s San Isidro operation is now the tenth facility to offer ‘Responsibly Grown. Farmworker Assured.’™ labeled products through the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI), pushing EFI over a milestone in covering nearly 5,000 agricultural workers.
“We are very excited in partnering with EFI to transform the lives of agricultural workers,” said Hector Espinosa, Best Company to Work For Director at NatureSweet San Isidro, according to a press release.
EFI is a nonprofit organization that looks to bring together workers, growers, and retailers to produce safer, more responsibly grown fruits and vegetables. The addition of NatureSweet to the program is significant as 4,689 agricultural workers now work on EFI-certified facilities in which Leadership Teams representing labor and management provide continuous verification of compliance with EFI standards. Of the 10 certified facilities, EFI has trained a total of 222 Leadership Team members, 45 percent of whom are women.
“This 10th certification means that nearly 5,000 agricultural workers now have the training, tools and work environment to actively collaborate with management to provide higher levels of assurance to customers and consumers,” said Kenton Harmer, Certification Director at EFI, according to the statement. “Companies like NatureSweet are helping to pioneer a unique combination of people development and rigorous third-party verification."
Lilian Autler, Workforce Development Specialist at EFI, added, “Everywhere we go, we encounter agricultural workers, supervisors, and managers who are eager to learn and proud of the work they do every day to produce safe, healthy food. For many agricultural workers, EFI trainings are a unique opportunity. Over and over, I have watched Leadership Teams move from being a loose collection of people who happen to work in the same place, to becoming co-workers who know and trust each other, care about each other, and want to work together to improve their workplace.”
EFI-labeled tomatoes from NatureSweet San Isidro adhere to EFI’s strict food safety standards, which are built on industry best practices for preventing and detecting contamination in the fresh produce supply chain.
EFI noted that there are currently 15 more facilities already in the training and audit process, and it expects to scale significantly in the coming years.