Marking another important milestone of growth, Equitable Food Initiative, the workforce development and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer advocacy groups, has promoted Kenton Harmer to the new position of managing director, effective immediately.
Harmer has served as EFI’s director of certification and impact since 2013, directing the multi-stakeholder process responsible for the standards, policies and relationships that allow EFI to certify fresh produce farms for industry best practices. Harmer was previously the director of the sustainable agriculture practice at Milepost Consulting, where he strategized and implemented sustainability programs with companies such as Driscoll’s, the National Mango Board and NatureSweet Tomatoes, among others.
“As demand for our program grows and we scale our operations, we recognize the need to strengthen our internal management systems,” said EFI Executive Director Peter O’Driscoll. “Kenton has all the right skills and experience. He built our certification program from scratch, and has helped the farms we certify to continuously improve their systems and workplace culture. The trust that Kenton has established with our staff and EFI’s multi-stakeholder partners will help him succeed in this vital new role.”
Harmer takes on the challenge of building and refining the quality assurance and management systems that will help EFI scale successfully. He will work closely with the business development, workforce development, certification, marketing and operations teams to improve efficiency and impact. Harmer will also support the executive director on all aspects of strategic planning, budgeting, fundraising and organizational development, and will lead the recruitment of a new certification manager.
“Kenton brings passion to any task he undertakes. He has been successful at EFI because of his ability to bring people together around ‘win-win’ solutions,” said LeAnne Ruzzamenti, EFI’s director of marketing communications. “He has a unique talent for systems, data and people – all skills that will be invaluable in taking our organization and team to the next level.”