Produce that's “Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured"
May 2, 2016, Delta, B.C. — The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI), a nonprofit that brings together workers, growers and retailers to produce safer, more responsibly grown fruits and vegetables, today announced that fresh fruits and vegetables labeled “Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured™” from Windset Farms® are now available at select Costco locations in the northwest United States.
“At Windset Farms, we’re committed to providing consumers with the highest quality produce possible,” said Jeff Madu, director of sales at Windset Farms. “This includes the value and quality throughout the entire food system made up of workers, growers, retailers and consumers alike. Our certification with EFI makes sure that our workers are receiving fair wages, benefits and safe working conditions.”
Windset Farms is one of the largest growers and marketers of greenhouse produce. The company grows only non-GMO produce, including peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuces, strawberries, eggplant and endive.
The Windset Farms Canadian facility in Delta, British Columbia, is EFI’s first certified farm in Canada. EFI is working with the organization to certify other farms in the United States. The Delta facility produces peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.
For EFI, the Canadian facility posed a unique challenge, with English-speaking, Punjabi-speaking and Spanish-speaking workers.
“EFI’s workforce development team is committed to providing tailored solutions for any operation,” said Peter O’Driscoll, executive director at EFI.
“Our trainers collaborated with Windset to provide simultaneous tri-lingual interpretation, helping to bridge the gaps among different groups of workers. They now approach problem-solving activities together to keep the farm in compliance with EFI Standards. This type of workforce development represents a big win for both Windset and EFI and shows that EFI is not just another certification.”
EFI’s multi-stakeholder approach to workforce development, certification and verification welcomes participation from across the produce industry. This includes retailers, growers, farmworker organizations and consumer advocacy groups. EFI Standards include compliance indicators for labor conditions, food safety and environmental stewardship.
EFI has so far certified four produce facilities in the United States, four in Mexico and one in Canada, and it is working with other produce suppliers to achieve certification later this year.
For more information on EFI, visit: http://www.equitablefood.org/.
ABOUT EQUITABLE FOOD INITIATIVE
The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) brings together workers, growers and retailers to provide “Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured™” fruits and vegetables. As produce farms comply with the EFI Standards — for improved working conditions, pest management, and food safety — the entire food system sees benefits, from farmworkers to businesses to agricultural communities and consumers.
EFI is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and receives funding support from The Atlantic Philanthropies, Broad Reach Fund, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Rosenberg Foundation, Cedar Tree Foundation, Oxfam America and The Walt Disney Company.
Members of EFI’s multi-stakeholder board, which were instrumental in the development of the EFI Standards, include:
● Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce International.
● Bon Appétit Management Company.
● Center for Science in the Public Interest.
● Consumer Federation of America.
● Costco Wholesale Corporation.
● Farmworker Justice.
● Farm Labor Organizing Committee.
● Keystone Fruit Marketing, Inc.
● NatureSweet Tomatoes.
● Oxfam America.
● Pesticide Action Network North America.
● Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste.
● United Farm Workers.
ABOUT WINDSET FARMS
Headquartered at their Delta, B.C. facility and with greenhouses in B.C., Santa Maria, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada, Windset Farms is a family-run business that has become one of the largest growers and marketers of greenhouse produce.
Windset products are sold across Western Canada, the Western United States, Mexico and Asia.
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