EFI-certified onions are Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured Foto: Equitable Food Initiative

Onions 52 Earns its First EFI Certification, Notes Business Benefits

Marks 25th certification of EFI’s rigorous labor practices, food safety and pest management standards

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2017 |  Onions 52 (formerly Utah Onions) has received its first EFI certification for Hartley’s Produce onion farm in Prosser, Washington, marking the 25th EFI certification and highlighting how certification improves operations across the farm.

The EFI leadership team training occurred at Hartley Produce facilities just months after Bob Meek was named chief executive officer of Onions 52, and he reflected on what it means for the company after receiving the certification. „We were a good organization before working toward EFI certification, but I can confidently say that we are a better organization because of it. At the core of our business is our people and our products, and EFI helped us to better understand the needs of our employees.“

Meek attended the 40-hour EFI leadership team training and said, „One of the best values from the process of working with EFI is bringing the cross-organizational and cross-level team together to identify issues and offer solutions to improve the company. They developed an in-depth understanding of the standards we hold in our company and now have the communication and problem-solving skills to spread that as team leaders.“

When Meek is asked by other CEOs whether he would recommend working toward EFI certification, he notes that „it is not an easy program, as it takes time and commitment and requires a lot of changes, but it is one that I recommend and should be considered given the benefits that result. Having the skilled Hartley Produce team in place led by Taryn Hartley was a critical factor in receiving EFI certification.“

Hartley Produce is the ninth U.S. produce operation certified by EFI and the 25th overall, including Mexican and Canadian farms. This milestone brings the total number of farmworkers on EFI- certified farms to 14,526.

About EFI

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.

SOURCE Equitable Food Initiative