WASHINGTON – Mastronardi Produce (sold under the SUNSET® brand) has certified its fifth operation through Equitable Food Initiative. This certification marks a worthy milestone for Mastronardi, making it one of just a handful of companies to have certified five or more operations. Consumers can find a variety of tomatoes and peppers with the Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured® label at participating Costco Wholesale and Whole Foods Market locations.
EFI partners with growers and retailers to create a more transparent food chain, safer food and healthier places to work. Mastronardi’s first EFI certification was for its Kingsville, Ontario, farm in Canada. Its four other certified greenhouses are located in Mexico, and the latest certification is for one of the company’s farms in the Tepanco de Lopez region of Puebla, Mexico.
“Organizations that commit multiple locations to EFI certification truly see the value in organizational change throughout the business,” said LeAnne Ruzzamenti, director of marketing communications for EFI. “These handful of organizations that have committed to earning multiple EFI certifications do so because they have seen firsthand how workforce development fosters improved communication, food safety and innovation.”
Mastronardi’s culture is focused on sustainability and social responsibility. For the past 11 years, it has been named as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies; its commitment to EFI is just one of the many ways the company is doing everything it can for the health and longevity of the environment. Mastronardi most recently announced plans to offer 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging for all fruits and vegetables by 2025. Additionally, it has developed the Green Grass Project® to raise awareness about what it is doing to help create a sustainable environment across its growing, packaging and distribution operations.
“It is very important to us to do everything we can in the sustainability and social responsibility fronts,” said Kevin Safrance, chief operating officer of Mastronardi Produce. “For us, a partnership with EFI is not a one-off tactic that checks a box; rather it is our 365 mindset. We’re glad to have a partner that provides tools to help our company continue to achieve next-level success.”
Mastronardi Produce was the first commercial greenhouse in North America in the early 1940s. After four generations, the Mastronardi family still owns and manages what is now the leading greenhouse vegetable company on the continent, producing and selling tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, baby eggplants and berries.
SCS Global Services, a global leader in third-party agricultural, environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing and standards development, conducted the EFI audits at the five Mastronardi operations. “We are proud to work with EFI and audit Mastronardi’s five greenhouse operations, as both organizations share our values by cultivating a healthier, safer and more sustainable produce supply chain,” said Bonnie Holman, director of sustainability certifications for SCS. “The Mastronardi team was dedicated to the process, and because of that, was able to complete the most recent four certifications in record time.”
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.
About Mastronardi Produce
A pioneer and industry leader in the gourmet greenhouse industry, Mastronardi Produce grows and markets nationally recognized products under the SUNSET® brand, including Campari®, Zima® and Angel Sweet® tomatoes. Mastronardi Produce has been family-owned for over 65 years and prides itself on producing consistently flavorful gourmet tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and berries.
To learn more about Mastronardi Produce, visit sunsetgrown.com.