EFI Certifies Rouge River Farms' Operations
- by Anne Allen
WASHINGTON, DC - Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) announced that the year-round sweet corn tray packing company, Rouge River Farms, recently had all of its U.S. operations certified by the organization. Having been the first company on the East Coast to earn an EFI certification, Rouge now journeys onward with nationwide EFI approval under its belt.
“EFI is so much more than an audit. It is a holistic approach that transforms the way workers interact. I have seen how EFI can make a company better,” remarked Margaret Stuart, Senior Compliance Manager. “After the EFI Leadership Team training, I saw an increase in productivity among the workers in our facility. I saw their behaviors and expectations of one another change, and saw that they were taking more pride in their work.”
According to a press release, this marks the 30th certification for EFI, partnering with growers and retailers to create a more transparent chain, safer food, and healthier workplaces. Rouge River Farms’ operates locations in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia, all of which have now met more than 300 rigorous standards to earn EFI certification. An independent assessment conducted by third-party certifier SCS Global Services confirmed the validity of these certifications.
“Through EFI’s workforce development and certification program, Rouge River Farms has demonstrated its commitment to the principles of the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices,” stated Bonnie Holman, Sustainability Program Manager in SCS’s Food and Agriculture Division. “Accountability, increased transparency, and responsible labor practices are the guiding principles of the charter, which is why SCS has endorsed this industry-wide effort. Companies like Rouge River Farms should be applauded for its leadership in these arenas.”
Rouge River products feature EFI’s Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured® label, available in select Costco Wholesale locations east of the Mississippi River. Each Rouge River sweet corn purchase made at Costco earns farmworkers a generous bonus. EFI has worked with 21 grower-shipper companies on 64 farm locations, covering 38 produce commodities, and impacting more than 33,000 farmworkers.
What an awesome accomplishment for Rouge River Farms! Stick around at ANUK to see more from the biggest names in produce.