WASHINGTON – Equitable Food Initiative is proud to welcome new hire Rebecca Chávez, MPH, to serve as business development manager. Chávez will be responsible for developing relationships with major produce buyers, distributors, food service companies, trade associations and grower-shippers to encourage the adoption of the EFI workforce training, certification and verification model. This new position comes at a critical time as EFI-certified farm locations continue to expand and demand in Mexico increases.
An urbanite who has spent her career working in the rural sector on food security, nutrition, economic livelihoods, gender equity and youth leadership, Chávez has a penchant for bridging and interpreting world views—reflective of her bicultural Mexican-Jewish background. Her passion for social justice in food systems comes from her work with small farming families in southern Mexico as healthy families program director at Puente a la Salud Comunitaria. There she learned the value of buying at open-air markets from vendors who sell their goods spread out on the ground.
“EFI gives Rebecca the opportunity to exercise her values by contributing to the equitable growth of an entire industry,” stated Kevin Boyle, director of business and new product development for EFI. “Her unique skill set is well-positioned to help educate Mexican growers about our workforce development program and assist them as they work toward implementing the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices.”
Chávez holds a master’s degree in public health from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American studies from Wesleyan University. She is grateful to have called several cities “home” over the years (Maputo, Mozambique; Middletown, Connecticut; Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico; and Carrboro, North Carolina) and has now happily returned to her home neighborhood of Mount Pleasant in Washington, D.C.
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.