After two years of hard work and diligence, Misionero, a grower and of organic leafy greens, announced its Gonzales facility received Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certification. This makes the Gonzales facility the first processing-only facility to be certified in the US, and the first EFI-certified operation located in the Salinas Valley. Misionero’s Yuma, AZ facility is also in process of certification.
To acquire the EFI certification, Misionero received the required leadership and skill development training, as well as an audit by a third-party certifying body. Misionero is currently partnering with its growing partners to bring the first EFI-labeled leafy greens into the marketplace.
Pete Donlon, vice president at Misionero, has been involved with EFI since its inception in 2015, and serves on the EFI standards committee. EFI certification holds the most rigorous standards in the industry for labor practices, food safety and pest management to create a more transparent food chain, grow safer food, and develop healthier places of work.
“At Misionero, we’re constantly working to build and maintain a company culture focused on our employees and customers,” said Donlon. “We could not be more proud of what has been accomplished. Our EFI leadership team is the key to meeting the EFI requirements, as well as ensuring we operate as a cohesive group, tackle issues head-on and live the standards every day."
An EFI certification establishes greater transparency within the produce supply chain. While the program requires significant effort to instil a culture of continuous improvement, it provides growers competitive advantages in the marketplace by developing worker-management collaboration, meeting buyer requirements and highlighting their best-in-class practices to consumers.
“Misionero has proven its leadership and dedication to its organization and industry by becoming the first EFI certified operation in the California Salinas Valley – the salad bowl of the world,” said Kenton Harmer, director of certification for EFI. “Achieving EFI certification proves the commitment of both Misionero and its staff. The ability to work together to meet the industry’s most rigorous standards is a testament to the collaborative culture they’ve built.”