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Andrew & Williamson Raises the Bar on Farmworker Engagement With Equitable Food Initiative

Andrew & Williamson earns 10th certification with EFI, expanding its production of responsibly sourced berries and strengthening its commitment to EFI’s continuous improvement approach

/EIN News/ -- Washington, DC, April 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce earned a new certification for its three-location Buenaventura Ranch near Santa Maria, California, its 10th operation to meet ­­EFI's rigorous standards for working conditions, food safety and pest management.

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Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce logo


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Andrew & Williamson strawberries are found in stores under the GoodFarms brand featuring the EFI label


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Buenaventura is EFI’s 27th certification, and the seventh in California. EFI-certified operations now employ more than 19,000 workers in Canada, Mexico and the United States. To earn EFI certification, farms must meet and adhere to 311 standards concerning labor conditions, food safety and pest management. Participating retail buyers pay a premium for certified produce, which is returned to the workers as bonuses, fostering an assurance model that drives business performance as farmworkers and management create safer food and healthier work environments.

As a multi-stakeholder initiative in the produce industry, EFI has helped improve working conditions, benefited growers by engaging their employees in ensuring compliance, and driven business performance through EFI’s skill-building and workforce development program.

“We are very happy with Equitable Food Initiative. We view it like the Toyota production system for agriculture. When Toyota empowered their workers, they created efficiencies and productivity. Our workers are extremely skilled. If we can empower them, they will find that productivity so we can grow the pie and everybody, from the customer to the shopper to the field worker, everybody can win,” said John Farrington, chief operations officer at Andrew & Williamson.

Andrew & Williamson’s commitment to EFI is a powerful example of the importance of responsible sourcing in the produce industry. “We have really committed to EFI and realize that it’s a journey for all of us. The bar is always going to be raised and we appreciate that. We are committed to continuous improvement and the EFI model underscores that with all of our employees,” said Farrington. 

Costco Wholesale and Whole Foods Market presently carry Andrew & Williamson’s GoodFarms brand, which displays EFI’s Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured™ label. Its current portfolio of EFI-certified produce includes strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Andrew & Williamson EFI-certified farms:

  1. Crisalida Berry Farms (Oxnard, Calif.)
  2. El Milagro de Baja – Camalu and San Quintin (Baja California, Mexico)
  3. Rancho Nuevo Produce (Baja California, Mexico)
  4. Sierra Farms (Watsonville, Calif.)
  5. Rancho Agrícola Santa Monica (Baja California, Mexico)
  6. El Sol, El Cultivo y La Tierra (Baja California Sur, Mexico)
  7. El Fénix de Culiacán (Sinaloa, Mexico)
  8. Frutas Anahuac – Rancho Purengue, Rancho Mezquites, Rancho Miraflores (Michoacán, Mexico)
  9. Rancho Don Juanito (Baja California, Mexico)
  10. Buenaventura Ranch (Santa Maria, Calif.)  

About Equitable Food Initiative

Equitable Food Initiative is a nonprofit certification and skill-building organization that seeks to transform agriculture and improve the lives of farmworkers. 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.

About Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce

Andrew & Williamson started over 30 years ago as a family business. Although it has grown significantly, the business is still run as if each team member is part of that family. The Andrew & Williamson mission is to provide consumers with great tasting, good looking, safe and affordable produce 365 days a year. For more information about Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, visit www.andrew-williamson.com.

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Attachments

LeAnne Ruzzamenti
                    Equitable Food Initiative
                    2025240540
                    leanne@equitablefood.org
                    

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