WASHINGTON, March 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Equitable Food Initiative welcomes four new members to its multi-stakeholder board of directors. Victor Smith and Kathryn Ault join as grower representatives, Martin Guerena as a pest management expert and Laura MacCleery to represent consumer interests.
As president and CEO for JV Smith Companies, Vic Smith oversees a diverse group of operations with farming, cooling and distribution facilities in Arizona, Colorado and Mexico. "I am excited to join the EFI board and learn more about their efforts to help create a safe, equitable and sustainable work environment in our industry," Smith said. "I hope to contribute to this process since EFI's work directly aligns with the core values of JV Smith Companies."
Kathryn Ault, vice president of sales for NatureSweet Tomatoes, has seen the impact of EFI's Leadership Team training firsthand as it has been integrated throughout NatureSweet's Mexican operations. "EFI and NatureSweet share the mission of transforming the lives of agricultural workers, and I am happy to work to extend that focus beyond NatureSweet to other agricultural operations in the EFI Program," Ault said.
Martin Guerena, a sustainable agriculture specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, will bring his expertise as an integrated pest management specialist along with his experience as a teacher and farm manager to EFI's board and standards committee. "I look forward to partnering with the organizations and stakeholders involved in EFI to help create more sustainable approaches to pest management – reducing exposure and pesticide risk while balancing the economic impact of different approaches on growers," Guerena said.
As director of policy and regulatory affairs for Center for Science in the Public Interest, Laura MacCleery provides strategic direction on a variety of issues, including food safety, labeling and consumer transparency, nutrition and public health policy. "I am happy to continue CSPI's representation on the EFI board to help maintain the high standards for food safety and consumer interests that the program was created to address," MacCleery said.
"The EFI board of directors is designed to represent all interests in the fresh produce supply chain and to create assurance and value for all parties," said EFI executive director Peter O'Driscoll. "Growers, pest management experts, farmworker organizations, retailers and consumer safety groups work together to promote skills and collaborative approaches that will transform agriculture and the lives of farmworkers."
EFI Board of Directors:
- Erik Nicholson, Board Chair – National Vice President, United Farm Workers
- Maisie Ganzler, Vice Chair – Vice President Strategy, Bon Appétit Management Company
- Preston Witt, Secretary – Director, Supplier Code of Conduct Compliance, Costco Wholesale
- Bruce Goldstein, Treasurer – President, Farmworker Justice
- Kathryn Ault – Vice President of Sales, NatureSweet Tomatoes
- Ernie Farley – Partner, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce
- Thomas Gremillion – Director of Food Policy, Consumer Federation of America
- Martin Guerena – Sustainable Agriculture Specialist, National Center for Appropriate Technology
- Laura MacCleery – Policy Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
- Ramón Ramírez – President and Co-Founder, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste
- Margaret Reeves – Senior Scientist, Pesticide Action Network North America
- Minor Sinclair – U.S. Regional Director, Oxfam America
- Baldemar Velasquez – President and Founder, Farm Labor Organizing Committee
- Michael Conroy – Former International Board Chair of the Forest Stewardship Council
- Carol Schrader – Software Executive, Entrepreneur and Advisor
- Victor Smith – President and CEO, JV Smith Companies
Equitable Food Initiative is a nonprofit certification and skill-building organization that seeks to transform agriculture and improve the lives of farmworkers. 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.
Contact: LeAnne R. Ruzzamenti, (202) 524-0540, email@example.com
SOURCE Equitable Food Initiative