Wholesum Reflects on 10 Years of Fair Trade Certification; Ricardo Crisantes Shares
AMADO, AZ - Three cheers for a happy, healthy planet and workforce! Wholesum is reflecting on a long-term commitment and decade of growth as it celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its Fair Trade Certification through the third-party certifier Fair Trade USA.
“Over 30 years ago, we began our transition to 100 percent organic farming to grow healthier products for our consumers, create safer environments for our workers, and lessen our impact on the planet. When we heard about how coffee workers were benefiting from the fair trade model, we explored the framework and found it to be a natural next step for us in our journey of responsible growing,” states Ricardo Crisantes, Chief Commercial Officer. “Around the world, workers on Fair Trade Certified farms were not only elevating production standards, but they were also using their fair trade premiums (additional money that goes back to the workforce through the sale of Fair Trade Certified products) for community improvements of all kinds.”
Maintaining a strong commitment to people and the planet, Wholesum employs responsible practices, including 100 percent organic production, a press release noted.
The Fair Trade program has made significant impact on Wholesum over the last 10 years, contributing to:
- Over $7.7 million generated in Community Development Funds to invest in community projects that address community needs
- Three Fair Trade Certified family farms including two in Mexico and one in Arizona, reportedly making the farm in Arizona the first Fair Trade Certified farm in the United States
- Built the infrastructure for an entire community of workers
- Over 30 positions of employment outside of Wholesum have been created
- Over 12 partner growers who also operate under the fair trade framework and have created an impact in their communities
- 67 percent of produce sold under Fair Trade Certified terms in 2021 as consumers become more conscientious and seek more responsibly grown produce options
“We are now 10 years into this experience and are deeply humbled when others approach us to learn about the process, the challenges, and the successes,” states Crisantes. “We believe that there is strength in numbers, and the more who subscribe to this framework, the more we can transmit the significance of ethically grown produce. We are always open to share our story and open the door to our farms to those who want to learn more.”
In celebration of this milestone, Wholesum recently held a customer appreciation event during the Organic Produce Summit in Monterey, California, and will also be holding workforce appreciation events at each family farm in October to highlight the people behind the produce.
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