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Equitable Food Initiative Voices Support For New Fair Recruitment Guidelines; Peter O’Driscoll and Kenton Harmer Comment

Equitable Food Initiative Voices Support For New Fair Recruitment Guidelines; Peter O’Driscoll and Kenton Harmer Comment



WASHINGTON, DC - With social responsibility remaining a key focus for many companies, Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) has championed a recent decision supporting new fair recruitment guidelines emphasizing the need for worker protections. The workforce development and certification organization recently announced its support for the proposed new guidance on ethical recruitment from the Biden-Harris Administration’s Collaborative Migration Management Strategy.

Peter O'Driscoll, Executive Director, Equitable Food Initiative“We welcome the Biden administration’s new guidance because it aligns well with EFI’s efforts to promote ethical recruitment and address the abuses that are still too common in the process,” Peter O’Driscoll, Executive Director of EFI remarked. “We have made our Responsible Recruitment Scorecard available at no cost to any employer who wants to detect potential human trafficking in their labor supply chain. And through interviews with over 1,100 agricultural workers, we published 10 Ways to Improve Recruitment of Guest Workers to help produce grower-shippers optimize the recruitment process and reduce the risks to workers so they can arrive at the farm gate as highly engaged and productive employees. Because the new Fair Recruitment Initiative Guidelines reinforce our established standards, EFI is glad to endorse them.”

The Guidance on Fair Recruitment Principles is a key component of the Administration’s strategy to expand access to lawful pathways for migration and to better manage the H-2 visa program that provides essential labor for the agriculture industry. This new guidance is announced at a time of heightened consumer demand for responsible supply chains, thus pushing companies to raise their own social, environmental, and governance performance, and holding government officials accountable for immigration policy reforms.

Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) has championed a recent decision supporting new fair recruitment guidelines emphasizing the need for worker protections

The new guidance focuses on several key areas related to recruitment infrastructure and processes, including the protection of fundamental worker rights, contract transparency, and the role of retailers and downstream supply chain actors in preventing abusive recruitment practices, as explained in a press release. The policy builds on existing Department of Labor regulations and efforts by the United Nations to improve the recruitment process through the International Labour Organization’s Fair Recruitment Initiative and Guiding Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment.

Kenton Harmer, Managing Director, Equitable Food Initiative“Just as the fresh produce industry adds value by building brands around their products, we must continue to de-commodify labor, recognizing the contributions each worker brings to creating sustainable businesses and healthy, safe produce,” added Kenton Harmer, Managing Director. “This starts by getting every mile of the recruitment journey right. Unethical recruitment leaks value out of the system and creates untenable risks for workers and employers. EFI welcomes the efforts of the Administration, the buying community, and grower-shippers to identify, mitigate and remedy forced labor in agriculture. Fresh produce should be known just as much for the ethical way it recruits and manages farmworkers as for its flavor and health benefits.”

As companies look to strengthen their social, environmental, and governance strategies industry-wide to meet consumer demand, ANUK will report on key factors and legislations like this one.

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Equitable Food Initiative

The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) brings together workers, growers and retailers in the effort to produce better fruits...