SAN DIEGO, Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- GoodFarms, the consumer-facing, ethical-positioned brand from Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, has received recognition for its social responsibility efforts with the 2018 Communitas Award. This award program seeks to honor those special companies, organizations and individuals that are changing the way they do business to benefit their employees, communities and environment.
The Communitas Awards is an outgrowth of the pro bono recognition program of the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. Founded in 1995, AMCP fosters and supports the efforts of its members, who contribute their unique marketing and communication talents to public service and charitable organizations.
"We nominated GoodFarms because it is an industry leader in social responsibility that deeply cares about doing the right thing. It works to protect the environment with a wide range of sustainable business practices, and most importantly, it cares about employees, both in and out of the fields," stated LeAnne Ruzzamenti, director of marketing and communications for Equitable Food Initiative.
Ten of GoodFarms' growing operations in Mexico and California have been third-party certified by Equitable Food Initiative, a workforce development model that helps farms produce safer food, reduce the use of pesticides and create better and healthier places to work.
"What differentiates our product and approach is our focus on people. We train and empower farmworkers to be part of the quality and food safety process to ensure our berries and vegetables are the highest quality while implementing sustainable techniques and creating better work environments," noted Amalia Zimmerman-Lommel, director of social responsibility for GoodFarms.
GoodFarms employees are encouraged to submit ideas to improve equipment and processes. The company hosts a clothing closet and food pantry to support workers during the off-season so that they can stay in the area year-round and provide their families with educational opportunities and long-term ties to the community without needing to travel to other growing regions in search of work.
The company is also focused on finding alternatives for hazardous pesticides and reducing food waste by using imperfect fruits and vegetables. Just one example of these many efforts is producing cold-pressed organic juice from berries that are not fit for market. The product uses around 20 percent of the strawberries that GoodFarms grows but is unable to sell as fresh because of size or appearance.
"We are honored to receive this award based on the work we do for our workers and in our community, but our good work wouldn't have as much impact without the help of our partners, especially Costco Wholesale and Equitable Food Initiative. Their leadership has helped us implement wide changes on our farms and has generated $4.3 million in worker bonuses since 2014," said John Farrington, chief operating officer for GoodFarms.
"We applaud the leadership efforts of GoodFarms, and we're glad to see the business community recognize its work with this Communitas Award," stated Ruzzamenti. "With its sustainable growing practices and employee engagement, GoodFarms is improving lives from farm to table and proving that ethical leadership is good for business."
GoodFarms is on a mission to improve lives from farm to table. A portion of each purchase is making a difference by cultivating positive change.
Together, GoodFarms and consumers can:
- Reduce food waste.
- Protect the environment.
- Feed a hungry world.
- Find alternatives for hazardous pesticides.
- Increase productivity and farm wages.
- End slavery and forced labor.
- Get children out of the fields and into schools.
Equitable Food Initiative is a nonprofit certification and skill-building organization that seeks to increase transparency in the food supply chain and improve the lives of farmworkers through a team-based approach to training and continuous improvement practices. EFI brings together growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumers to solve the most pressing issues facing the fresh produce industry. Its unparalleled approach sets standards for labor practices, food safety and pest management while engaging workers at all levels on the farm to produce Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured™ fruits and vegetables. For more information about Equitable Food Initiative, visit www.equitablefood.org.