U.S. produce company gains EFI certification for Mexican farms
U.S.-based fruit and vegetable grower-marketer Alpine Fresh has received an Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certification for two farms in Puebla, Mexico.
The company will begin distributing the first organic and conventional French beans and organic broccoli with the EFI Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured label this month to the western U.S.
The EFI is a nonprofit organization that brings together workers, growers and retailers to produce safer, more responsibly grown fruits and vegetables.
The Puebla farm locations are the second EFI certification for Alpine Fresh, joining its MangoPack operation in Tecate, Mexico, which was certified in March 2016.
“We are proud to have been the first packing operation certified by EFI, and now to have two of our farm locations certified under the EFI label,” Alpine Fresh director of value-added operations Manuel Rivera said.
“As a company we are working on ways to bring workers and management together to create a better product and better working conditions, and EFI has been an important element in our progress and success.”
Meanwhile, social responsibility compliance manager Alma Rivera said the company saw "great improvements" on the farm after the EFI trainings.
“There is better communication, more respect, and everyone wants to work together to solve problems and make the best product possible," she said.
The Alpine Fresh certification has expanded EFI’s certifications to seven Mexican states, three U.S. states and one Canadian province.
“We value our partnership with Alpine Fresh and look forward to expanding EFI further into the Americas to support their supply chain,” EFI director of business and workforce development Kevin Boyle said.
“EFI is predicated on creating value for growers and workers alike, along with their retail customers and consumers. Alpine Fresh has been key in driving this solution forward.”