Rainier Fruit Company is looking back at what it says was a groundbreaking year setting industry standards. “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments we made in 2020,” said Blake Belknap, vice-president of sales for Rainier. “We continue to push the envelope and evolve as an industry leader.”
Earning EFI certification was a key accomplishment for Rainier Fruit Co.
Rooted in family, Rainier prides itself on doing what is going to benefit everyone from their farms to the consumer. This is seen in the certifications earned in 2020 and one of the most notable for the company is the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certification. The EFI certification addresses more than 300 standards including labor conditions, food safety and pest management.
Two key locations were EFI certified this past summer. One of Rainier’s largest ranches, the Mattawa ranch with more than 2,300 acres, is home to organic and high-flavor apple varieties such as Honeycrisp, Envy, Pink Lady, Jazz and organic cherries and blueberries. In addition, Zirkle Harrison houses six packing lines, 100 CA rooms and 29 shipping bays totaling more than 1.5 million square feet. Between the field and the facility, approximately 1,500 employees have been directly impacted by the comprehensive EFI trainings that are focused on ongoing collaboration between employees and management. “That was a huge accomplishment, but one that wasn’t a stretch,” said Mark Zirkle, CEO at Rainier. “You get out what you put in. Treating people right is what we have done in my family for generations. We are just making things official.”
Zirkle Harrison was one of two Rainier locations that achieved EFI certification.
“We are a company founded on integrity and deeply integrated from the dirt to the trade. That provides clarity and reliable supply that our customers rely on 365 days a year,” said Belknap. “I cannot wait to see the what’s going to happen at Rainier Fruit Company in 2021.”