Homegrown Organic Farms Earns First Equitable Food Initiative Certification for Stonefruit
- by Lilian Diep
PORTERVILLE, CA - With the help of the expertise of Equitable Food Initiative (EFI), Homegrown Organic Farms has now completed its EFI certification for its California-grown organic stonefruit. Among other highlights, this certification demonstrates the grower’s dedication to improving the lives of its employees. The EFI-labeled product began to ship to Costco Wholesale and Whole Foods Market as of yesterday.
“We are proud to be first in offering an EFI-certified stonefruit program to the consumer,” stated Scott Mabs, Chief Executive Officer of Homegrown Organic Farms. “Our team members from the field to shipment are professionals in their jobs, and EFI brings the system to help facilitate cross-department collaboration and personal development. It is quite a unique program that is on the forefront of systems improvement for the farm supply chain. Homegrown has always been about the development and value of our team members and EFI is a wonderful support to that mission.”
Homegrown Organic Farms is excited to be able to offer this reassurance to its customers and looks forward to new partnerships with all who support the health of the supply chain.
A press release explained that the EFI certification process involves developing partnerships between the farm and packing facility employees and their management teams to create a trusting work environment while improving overall working conditions, cultivating confidence and teamwork, and building a culture of commitment and collaboration.
"Homegrown Organic Farms operates on a set of principles shared among its growers that greatly align with the social responsibility principles of EFI. Given that, it is not surprising that it became the fastest operation to achieve certification after training. We are thrilled to be working with its network of growers to help engage their workers in new ways,” noted Kevin Boyle, Director, New Product and Business Development, EFI.
Completion of the certification was overseen by EFI and third-party certifier SCS Global Services.
“We deployed an innovative approach using technology and targeted on-site audit functions to meet the three organization’s safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring compliance with EFI’s 335 standards,” said Bonnie Holman, Director, Sustainability Certifications for SCS Global Services. “We were also able to confirm that the EFI Leadership Team was demonstrating value for the operation in the midst of the pandemic by supporting key communications and best practices surrounding the health and safety of workers.”
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