Pacific Tomato Growers Awarded USDA FLSP Grant at Platinum-Level to Enhance Ethical Labor Standards & Combat Agriculture Labor Shortages

PALMETTO, FL — Pacific Tomato Growers, a family-owned U.S. tomato grower, packer, and shipper known for its commitment to ethical labor standards, is honored to announce it has been awarded $1,720,000 through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection (FLSP) pilot grant program.

The FLSP Grant has 3 Goals:

1. Drive U.S. economic recovery and safeguard domestic food supply by addressing current labor shortages in agriculture.

2. Reduce irregular migration from Northern Central America through the expansion of regular pathways.

3. Improve working conditions for all farmworkers.

Pacific Tomato Growers’ awarded project, titled “Development and Improvement of Agriculture Labor Program for Domestic and H-2A Farmworkers,” focuses on comprehensive worker management and welfare. The initiative will be executed through our continuing strategic partnerships with the Fair Food Program (FFP), the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), and the Fair Food Standards Council (FFSC), ensuring the highest standards of worker protection and engagement.

“We’re grateful under these extreme labor conditions to be awarded the FLSP grant by the USDA,” said Jon Esformes, CEO of Pacific Tomato Growers. “This funding will enable us to continue attracting farmworkers to our domestic US farming operations while maintaining our leadership in setting a standard of excellence in the agricultural industry.”

This FLSP grant support will help Pacific Tomato Growers solidify its position as a preferred ethical employer within the agricultural sector, attracting and retaining a robust labor force. The initiative will extend the company’s operational capacity into Central America (Honduras, El Salvador, & Guatemala), addressing H2-A program challenges such as regulatory compliance, housing scarcity, and international recruitment logistics.

Jon Esformes emphasized the importance of the USDA’s FLSP grant, stating, “We applaud the USDA for their vision and support. This grant is not just an investment in our company, but in the lives and well-being of our hard-working people on the farms. Our partnership with the Fair Food Program (FFP), Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), and Fair Food Standards Council (FFSC) ensures that we continue to provide a safe, just, and participatory work environment. As the first grower to sign a direct agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers back in 2010 we are honored and grateful that the USDA is recognizing the model of excellence that the FFP, CIW, & FFSC have set and continue to expand. These organizations have been instrumental in helping us maintain the platinum standard in agricultural labor practices. We will continue to grow with the FFP, CIW, & FFSC as the USDA and larger US government join us in supporting ethical labor and robust food supply.”

About Pacific Tomato Growers:

Pacific Tomato Growers, headquartered in Palmetto, Florida, is a family-owned and operated grower, packer, and shipper of tomatoes in the United States. The company is known for its dedication to ethical labor standards, sustainability, and innovation in agriculture. Through its partnership with the Fair Food Program, Pacific Tomato Growers ensures humane wages and working conditions for its workforce, setting a benchmark for the industry. For more information, please email us at