Equitable Food Initiative, the workforce development and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer groups, announced it has been recognized as a third-party-verified certification program for Walmart U.S.’s new pollinator health commitments.
EFI’s integrated pest management (IPM) standards address a range of indicators that promote pollinator health and help suppliers meet Walmart U.S.’s new commitment to source from suppliers that have third-party verified IPM practices by 2025 to promote pollinator health.
Walmart has committed to source from suppliers who endorse the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices by 2022. EFI integrated the principles of the Charter into its standards after it was published in 2018, so certified suppliers can demonstrate to customers that they have adopted responsible labor practices.
"As a company working with so many suppliers and brands, we appreciate EFI's robust certification and training program because it helps suppliers meet multiple requirements in a single audit," said Anabella de Freeman, senior manager of sustainability and strategic initiatives in produce for Walmart. “We accept EFI certification for responsible sourcing and now IPM verification, which can help certified suppliers provide transparency to their retail customers.”
Since its inception, EFI has worked to engage workers in meeting and verifying industry standards for responsible labor practices, food safety and IPM. EFI’s goal is to offer a comprehensive tool that helps reduce the cost and effort of multiple audits through a “one-stop-shop” option.
“Our multi-stakeholder approach created a program to mitigate the supply chain risks of greatest concern to retail buyers,” said Peter O’Driscoll, executive director at EFI. “Our workforce development and certification approach drives efficiencies throughout farming operations and helps relieve audit fatigue. EFI engages workers to identify and address labor, food safety and pest management threats to improve both company productivity and labor conditions. We are proud to work with Walmart to promote pollinator health and responsible labor practices.”
To learn more about EFI’s certification process, click here.