WASHINGTON – Equitable Food Initiative, the workforce development and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer advocacy groups, is celebrating National Farmworker Awareness Week by encouraging growers, agricultural associations and consumers to share messages honoring the farmworkers that make it possible for Americans to have access to high-quality, fresh and safer fruits and vegetables, particularly in light of the pandemic.
National Farmworker Awareness Week is a designated week of action for communities to bring attention to the multiple challenges farmworkers face and honor their important and #AlwaysEssential contributions to the food supply chain. This commemorative week is observed March 25-31, and everyone in the supply chain can get involved by sharing the key messages and graphics provided in EFI’s free communications toolkit.
This past year has helped the world shine a light on the men and women of many essential industries, including agriculture. Now more than ever, consumers have taken an interest in where their food comes from and the special people who help get it from farm to table.
Rather than forget this important recognition as the end of the pandemic nears, EFI is encouraging industry members and consumers alike to speak as one voice and continue to amplify the message that farmworkers are #AlwaysEssential by:
· Sharing the communications toolkit and information across the agricultural industry
· Creating unique content or videos for social media highlighting Farmworker Awareness Week and using the #AlwaysEssential hashtag
· Providing “live” content for social media channels featuring farmworker interviews detailing their jobs, the safety precautions they take and the skills and knowledge they bring to their work
· Asking state governors or legislative officials to draft a proclamation supporting Farmworker Awareness Week
· Hosting socially distant events in celebration of farmworkers
· Contacting local media and asking them to share information about the role of agriculture and farmworkers in local economies during Farmworker Awareness Week
Industry members (both EFI-certified operations and not) members and non-members) can join Equitable Food Initiative in promoting National Farmworker Awareness Week by downloading the communications toolkit, which includes ready-to-use graphics, logos, hashtags and messages. Agricultural and food industry members are encouraged to create their own graphics, as well as promote their organization, business or industry and tell their unique story.
“One positive thing to come out of the pandemic is that farmworkers were recognized as essential, but this is by no means a new concept,” said LeAnne Ruzzamenti, director of marketing communications for EFI. “They have always played a vital role in the food supply chain, and in fact are the root of the supply chain, ensuring the availability, quality and safety of our food. They should be celebrated every day, and those of us working in the food system need to ensure they have safe, healthy and respectful working conditions.”
Farmworkers are essential to getting fresh and healthy food on supermarket shelves. Consumers don’t see them, but farmworkers grow, harvest, process and pack fresh food for stores every day. Nearly 2.5 million farmworkers are on farms and ranches throughout the United Sates, performing hard and skilled labor. It is estimated that there are 425,000 farmworkers working in the fresh produce industry alone.
For more information on National Farmworker Awareness Week, please visit https://equitablefood.org/farmworkerawareness.
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.
View a list of EFI-certified farms at https://equitablefood.org/efi-certified-farms/.