Windset Farms® Supports Farmworkers, Celebrates National Farmworker Awareness Week; Jeff Madu and LeAnne Ruzzamenti Comment
DELTA, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Farmworkers are a vital part of our industry, and their contributions cannot be celebrated enough. For companies like Windset Farms®, appreciating farmers is a crucial part of their mission and values. As National Farmworker Awareness Week (NFAW) takes place, we sat down with Windset Farms for more insight on what this week means.
“We’ve been celebrating our farmers since our inception in 1996,” began Jeff Madu, Vice President of Sales and Operations. “Farmworker Awareness Week provides an opportunity for Windset and the industry to acknowledge the essential role of the farmworkers that ground our supply chain and ensure the availability, quality, and safety of our fresh food.”
Windset Farms works to express its gratitude for its farmworkers every day of the year, taking certain steps to further celebrate its workers. These run the gamut from bringing in food trucks for lunches to monthly giveaways and even a soccer tournament.
“We do everything we can to support our employee’s mental well-being and provide mental health initiatives for temporary foreign workers. Last year, we participated in an AgSafe BC music video that depicted a Windset Farms employee’s journey to overcome the struggles they faced working in a new country. The video was part of a province-wide campaign supporting our farmer workers,” Jeff noted.
Aside from its day-to-day support, Windset Farms works hard to make sure that, at the operational level, the company has the proper certifications to support its team. This means that Windset’s facilities are certified by the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI).
“Being an EFI-certified farm builds on Windset’s existing employee wellness programs, providing employees with added trust that we are putting their needs first,” Jeff added. “EFI allows us to support our workers and further promote the importance of buying from socially responsible growers and retailers! Consumers continue to take a real interest in where their food comes from and the workers who help bring that food from farm to table. The EFI label on our products lets our consumers know they are supporting a more sustainable food system.”
A partner of EFI’s since 2017, Windset continues to build on the relationship.
“Windset Farms stands out as a leader in the industry with its early adoption of EFI,” LeAnne Ruzzamenti, Director of Marketing Communications for EFI, shared. “The Windset team embraced the worker-manager collaborative team model required for EFI and became the first greenhouse operation to receive an EFI certificate. Since that time, they have been a true best-in-class partner with EFI, helping us grow our reach and recognition within the industry. More recently, Windset served on EFI’s Leadership Team Committee and worked on a waste reduction project at the Santa Maria facility.”
Building awareness of the importance of NFAW is another aspect of the partnership between Windset Farms and EFI, as both see this week as a chance to underscore the value that each person brings to their jobs every day, ensuring a safe food source and quality products.
“EFI Certification demonstrates that we prioritize sustainability, quality, and ethical practices, which are increasingly important factors for businesses and consumers,” Jeff remarked. “This can help us establish long-term relationships with partners who share similar values. We will continue to utilize the opportunity to build awareness of EFI, and our #AlwaysEssential farmworkers, and encourage consumers to show the same cooperation when supporting growers and retailers in the marketplace.”
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