SAN DIEGO – GoodFarms, the Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce brand, was an early adopter of Equitable Food Initiative’s workforce development and certification program that helps farms produce safer food, reduce the use of pesticides and create better and healthier places to work. Now both organizations are being recognized for the joint creation of EFI Continuous Improvement Teams on GoodFarms’ operations in Mexico and the United States and will be included in the upcoming Gateway to Innovation showcase at the Viva Fresh Expo on April 27, 2019.
A panel of judges comprised of retail, foodservice and produce industry veterans chose the Gateway to Innovation finalists from a large number of entries based on a strict set of criteria regarding the timing and nature of the innovation and its contribution to the Tex-Mex region.
“It’s exciting to be recognized at Viva Fresh, especially since this award program celebrates a much broader range of innovations from field to shelf,” stated LeAnne Ruzzamenti, director of marketing and communications for Equitable Food Initiative. “The EFI Continuous Improvement Teams model provides a holistic way to address some of the industry’s biggest issues with labor conditions, food safety and labor shortages. There is no other solution provided to the produce industry that brings together compliance, assurance and business performance.”
To date, 10 of GoodFarms’ growing operations in Mexico and California have been third-party certified by Equitable Food Initiative. “The path of innovation is not easy, but the rewards are well worth the investment,” remarked Ernie Farley, partner with Andrew & Williamson and board member for EFI.
Farley continued, “From our earliest introduction of the program, we recognized the value of the leadership training and certification program that has resulted in a higher quality product, a better working environment for our farmworkers and a more transparent relationship with our retail partners.”
The finalists will be displayed before and during the expo on April 27. All expo attendees will be encouraged to vote live from the show floor via mobile device for their favorite innovation to receive the Best of Show Award, along with the second and third runners-up. The award winners will be announced during the expo.
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.
GoodFarms also wants to help consumers have fun and celebrate life with food that nourishes the body and delights the soul. Here’s to good food, good health, good friends, good times, good farms. For more information, visit www.goodfarms.com.
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.