WASHINGTON, April 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce has received its eighth Equitable Food Initiative certification for its strawberry farm in Jacona, Mexico, marking the 20th global certification for EFI and bringing the total number of farmworkers on EFI-certified farms to 10,197.
The announcement comes as EFI celebrates its second anniversary as a nonprofit certification and skill-building organization. To receive EFI certification, a farm must meet 311 indicators for labor practices, food safety and pest management under an independent third-party audit.
"Certifying 20 locations under rigorous standards in such a short period of time really speaks to how quickly the produce industry is responding to the opportunity to make systemic changes in the way it does business," said Dr. Michael E. Conroy, former international board chair of the Forest Stewardship Council and newly elected EFI board member. "Most certifications don't see this rapid growth in their earliest stages, and it's a credit to EFI that Andrew & Williamson and other industry leaders have been certified under EFI requirements so quickly."
The newly certified strawberries will be sold under Andrew & Williamson's GoodFarms label, available at Costco Wholesale locations throughout California. "EFI certification helps us truly fulfill our mission to improve lives from farm to table because it provides the framework and credibility that we offer good conditions for our farmworkers and engage them for the highest levels of food safety," said Tom Lyons, chief of innovation and marketing for Andrew & Williamson.
San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson has been instrumental in developing and implementing the EFI Standards and certification program. "Andrew & Williamson has been a pioneer for improving working conditions, food safety controls and pest management in the produce industry," said Peter O'Driscoll, executive director for EFI. "The entire Andrew & Williamson team has been an amazing partner as they not only helped create our rigorous standards, but shown how they can be implemented across numerous farms and regions."
For more information on Equitable Food Initiative, visit www.equitablefood.org.
About Equitable Food Initiative
Equitable Food Initiative brings together workers, growers and retailers to provide Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured™ fruits and vegetables. As produce farms comply with EFI Standards — for improved labor practices, food safety and pest management — benefits are seen for the entire food system, from farmworkers to businesses to agricultural communities and consumers.
EFI is a nonprofit that receives funding support from The Atlantic Philanthropies, Broad Reach Fund, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Oxfam America and The Walt Disney Company's Supply Chain Investment Program.
Members of Equitable Food Initiative's multi-stakeholder board, instrumental in the development of the EFI Standards, include:
- Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce
- Bon Appétit Management Company
- Center for Science in the Public Interest
- Consumer Federation of America
- Costco Wholesale
- Farm Labor Organizing Committee
- Farmworker Justice
- NatureSweet Tomatoes
- Oxfam America
- Pesticide Action Network North America
- Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste
- United Farm Workers
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SOURCE Equitable Food Initiative