WENATCHEE, Wash. – Stemilt is utilizing Farmworker Awareness Week, taking place now through March 31st, to celebrate its company-wide Equitable Food Initiative certification, highlight continuous improvement achievements that its EFI leadership team in Pasco, WA recently completed, and share appreciation for its Stemilters through a first-of-its-kind celebration.
On March 21st, Stemilters Day kicked off the spring season and Stemilt’s Farmworker Awareness Week celebrations. The company’s human capital team shared a delicious gift with each Stemilter, and a video with inspirational messaging around the sprouting of Stemilters that would take place in the future.
“Our first ever Stemilters Day celebrated took a moment to celebrate the great work that our team members – or Stemilters – put in each day,” said West Mathison, president of Stemilt. “Our Stemilters nurture orchards and fruit, pack and ship fresh fruit all year long, and perform many other duties to support us as we produce World Famous Fruit. It was fun to celebrate the first day of spring by showing our appreciation for Stemilters and how they unite around traits like dedication, appreciation, collaboration, and motivation.”
The March 25th kickoff to Farmworker Awareness Week led to more sharing and celebrating from Stemilt. The company is using its social media channels to inform consumers of its commitment to EFI, and the progress it has made since becoming the first in the tree fruit industry to fully certify its company orchards and warehouses with EFI. Stemilt is posting daily on social channels during Farmworkers Awareness Week to share Stemilters’ stories and experiences with EFI. The company hopes to educate consumers about the essential work that farmworkers do and encourage people to seek produce with the Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured label.
“Through EFI training and the formation of leadership teams, we proudly met 300+ standards and brought continuous improvement into our culture at Stemilt, said Mathison. “This is meaningful, and helps us make our intentions a reality. Today, we have 9 committed EFI leadership teams that collaborate on ‘small’ changes that have big impacts on driving excellence throughout Stemilt.”
The EFI leadership team in Pasco, WA recently finished a continuous improvement project. The team observed cars driving too fast around the orchards and decided that installing speed limit signs would help increase safety on roads for drivers and pedestrians alike. The team collaborated on several decisions, including setting a speed limit and determining where signs would be placed for visibility. Since signs were installed, there has been positive feedback around road safety from others.
“Small changes like the one that our Pasco team facilitated are inspiring to me because of the collaboration that occurred to see them through,” said Mathison. “Stemilt’s commitment to EFI stems from our desire to cultivate people and delight consumers through excellence. While it’s certainly important and fun to join in the celebration of Farmworker Awareness Week, it’s more important that we continue to use each day as an opportunity to encourage worker voice and ignite changes throughout the agriculture world.”
Stemilt is a family-owned grower, packer, and shipper of tree fruit. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt’s mission is to cultivate people and delight consumers with its World Famous Fruits. Stemilt is a leader in sweet cherries and organic tree fruits, and a key supplier of apples and pears. The company stewards an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible business through its Responsible Choice® program, which has been in place since 1989. For more information about Stemilt, visit www.stemilt.com.