Homegrown Organic Farms announced its certification from Equitable Food Initiative for its California grown, organic stone fruit – the first stone fruit operation ever to be EFI certified. This certification demonstrates Homegrown Organic Farms’ dedication to the improved lives of its direct employees and all those associated with their organization. EFI-labeled product will begin shipping to Costco Wholesale and Whole Foods Market June 1.
EFI certification process involves developing partnerships between the farm and packing facility employees and their management teams to create a trusting work environment while improving overall working conditions, cultivating confidence and teamwork, and building a culture of commitment and collaboration.
Kevin Boyle, Director, New Product & Business Development for EFI commented, ”Homegrown Organic Farms operates on a set of principles shared among its growers that greatly align with the social responsibility principles of EFI. Given that, it is not surprising that it became the fastest operation to achieve certification after training. We are thrilled to be working with its network of growers to help engage their workers in new ways.”
Scott Mabs, Chief Executive Officer of Homegrown Organic Farms, said, “We are proud to be first in offering an EFI-certified stone fruit program to the consumer. 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.”
The final stages of the certification process were completed as the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States. Completion of the certification is testament to the flexibility and commitment of Homegrown Organic Farms, EFI and third-party certifier SCS Global Services.
“We deployed an innovative approach using technology and targeted on-site audit functions to meet the three organization’s safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring compliance with EFI’s 335 standards,” said Bonnie Holman, Director, Sustainability Certifications for SCS Global Services. “We were also able to confirm that the EFI Leadership Team was demonstrating value for the operation in the midst of the pandemic by supporting key communications and best practices surrounding the health and safety of workers.”