National Farmworker Awareness Week 2023
Today we kick off the 24th annual National Farmworker Awareness Week (March 25-31) by recognizing and giving thanks to our farmworkers who are always essential. Historically, this week is celebrated alongside Cesar Chavez Day (March 31st), which recognizes his efforts and advocacy for farmworker social justice. During National Farmworker Awareness Week we continue to raise awareness that farmworkers are always essential and recognize the many ways we can continue to promote social responsibility. This year we are finding new ways to give thanks and show our appreciation to farmworkers.
The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is a nonprofit certification and skill-building organization that brings transparency and social assurance to the supply chain. To achieve an EFI certification, farming operations meet over 300 of the industry’s highest standards for labor practices, food safety, and integrated pest management. The program provides resources for continuous development and ensures farmworkers are treated fairly, compensated well, and engaged in the process to identify and solve operational improvements. We chose to implement the EFI program with our operations because it is more than a certification – it’s a unique program that encourages ongoing workforce development and stability.
Equitable Food Initiative Certifications
In the midst of a global pandemic in 2020, we earned the first Equitable Food Initiative Certification for the stonefruit commodity. Our organic stonefruit program continues to benefit from the foundation EFI set for multi-level communication and efficiencies in identifying and quickly resolving operational opportunities. The EFI certification process took our already forward thinking organic stonefruit operations to the next level.
“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.” – Scott Mabs, Chief Executive Officer
During Farmworker Awareness Week last year announced and celebrate the EFI certification of our organic blueberry program. In December 2022 we became the first in the industry to earn EFI certification for the citrus category. This year we look forward to adding grapes, kiwi, and persimmons to our growing list of EFI-certified programs. Together with our sister company, AgriCare, we represent more than 11,000 acres of EFI-certified fresh produce.
How to Support Farmworkers
You can support farmerworkers by shopping EFI certified products that are responsibly grown and their partnered retailers. Share on social media using the hashtags #farmworkerawarenessweek and #alwaysessential to help raise awareness that farmworkers deserve safe, fair, and healthy workplaces. The EFI team has also put together a free toolkit for National Farmworker Awareness Week communications that includes graphics and key message points.
Join us in saying, thank you! To show your appreciation for farmworkers working year-round to bring produce to your table, visit www.equitablefood.org/say-thanks.