Equitable Food Initiative Announces Leadership Team Advisory Group; Alice Linsmeier Discusses
- by Jenna Plasterer
WASHINGTON, DC - In its mission to develop the workforce and create safer, healthier environments for workers, the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) has announced the formation of its new leadership team advisory group. The group will serve as a standing committee of EFI’s Board of Directors and is comprised of farmworkers and Production Managers from certified farms that have finished the company’s leadership program training and take part in on-farm, worker-manager collaborative teams.
“The advisory group is a pivotal step in maintaining our organizational commitment to have all members of the supply chain included, and to offer more voice and value for the future of EFI,” said Alice Linsmeier, Senior Facilitator. “Receiving direct input from the farmworker and farming operation perspective on program improvements is vital.”
The group has been meeting since March of this year, according to a press release, and has provided key input on EFI’s strategy. Gearing ideas directly from farmworkers and those part of farming operations has provided a vital perspective that ensures value is returned to workers through the organization’s multistakeholder model. Additionally, the group has offered suggestions that will help improve EFI’s training program and will develop videos and stories that will be a part of consumer and retail outreach.
Since EFI began to certify farms in 2014, the company’s Board of Directors has searched for interaction with leadership teams to get a better understanding of the impacts its programs were having on the lives of ag workers. As EFI has evolved, Board Members and other staff wanted to create an ongoing and formal way to engage with workers and gather their insights, which led to the formation of the group, which started in 2021.
To get the group started, leadership teams from certified growers were invited to participate in virtual consultations. On October 6, 2021, the Board voted to integrate the leadership team advisory group as a standing Board committee to maintain the group’s influence on EFI’s governance.
“With the support of the liaisons and staff, our leadership team advisory group will help refine the component of our program that returns value to workers and provide feedback on development and training,” continued Linsmeier. “The group members also have interest in providing valuable input and creative ideas on other areas of the EFI program, including our consumer and retail partner outreach.”
Each team nominated an advisory group member to serve as point person for any and all ongoing communication with the group. From the 26 submitted nominations, 14 members were selected to represent a wide variety of EFI worker-manager leadership teams. Companies represented include:
- Buenaventura Ranch
- El Milagro de Baja
- El Sol, El Cultivo y La Tierra
- Frutos de Huerta Real
- NatureSweet Invernaderos Tuxcacuesco
- Promotora Agricola el Toro
- Rainier Fruit
- Rancho Don Juanito
- Rancho Nuevo Produce
- Rouge River Farms
- Stemilt Growers
- Windset Farms (United States and Canada locations)
The team has continued to meet monthly and is helping to drive forward EFI’s strategic planning.
How will this new group further impact EFI’s future growth? Keep a page open for AndNowUKnow for the answers.