WASHINGTON – Equitable Foods Initiative, the multi-stakeholder workforce development and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers, and consumer groups, has announced the development and release of a two-video series, A Day in the Life of a Farmworker, that can be viewed at equitablefood.org/dayinlife. The release of the videos coincides with Farmworker Awareness Week, March 25 to 31.
The concept was developed and implemented by EFI’s leadership team committee, which advises the EFI board of directors and is made up of farmworkers and managers from EFI-certified farms. The committee worked with their farming operations and coworkers to develop the video series to educate and raise awareness of the realities of being a farmworker.
Each video depicts a typical day of the featured farmworkers, their challenges, triumphs, and personal motivations. The first video in the series follows a single mother and strawberry harvester in California, and the second video features a married couple who both work as quality control reviewers at a strawberry farm in Mexico. The series is designed to highlight some of the special challenges farmworkers face as well as the benefits they’ve experienced working on EFI-certified farms.
The video production was led by workers at growing operations for Andrew & William Fresh Produce/GoodFarms. “We understand the power of bringing the workers’ voices and real-life stories directly to our customers and consumers,” remarked Amalia Lommel, director of social responsibility for GoodFarms. “We love seeing this kind of initiative and collaboration from our workers and are always delighted to help highlight the skills and essential work they do every day.”
The workers involved in the video series included:
Buenaventura Ranch Video
- Carlos Alberto Lazaro, Harvester – videographer and interviewer
- Juan Gutierrez Lopez, H2A Harvest Machine Operator – videographer and interviewer
- Yesica Angeles Guzman, Harvester at Buenaventura Ranch – interviewee
Rancho Nuevo Video
- Maria Sáenz Ruiz, Quality Control Assistant – videographer and interviewer
- Cuauhtémoc Palacios Sánchez, Quality Control Reviewer – interviewee
- Ana Eugenio Dolores, Quality Control Review – interviewee
“Members of the leadership team committee wanted to bring their own stories of their daily lives to consumers and retail buyers in hopes that more people would understand their struggles, value their skills and support their work with the EFI certification program,” said Alice Linsmeier, organizational and workforce development manager for EFI who works with the leadership team committee. “It was inspiring to work closely with the worker-led video teams at each ranch to develop and capture the stories they felt most compelling.”
For other grower shippers interested in highlighting farmworkers and showcasing the rich stories of the men and women who grow, harvest and pack our food, they can join EFI in promoting National Farmworker Awareness Week by accessing the free communications toolkit, which includes ready-to-use graphics, logos, hashtags and messages. Participants are encouraged to create their own graphics from the easily customizable templates, as well as promote their organization, business or industry and tell their unique story.
EFI works with 22 grower-shipper companies on more than 60 farming operations. Through the EFI program, more than 4,000 farmworkers and managers have been trained in problem-solving, communication and conflict resolution practices that are improving labor, food safety and pest management standards for more than 55,000 workers.
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 equitablefood.org.
View a list of EFI-certified farms at equitablefood.org/farms.