The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) cultivates a healthier, safer and more sustainable produce supply chain by combining food safety, pesticide management, and the fair treatment of workers under one certification. EFI’s coalition of growers, retailers, unions, NGOs, and consumer rights groups developed the EFI Standards, which include indicators for responsible labor and environmental practices, and increased worker involvement in food safety management. EFI certification requires the training of farmworkers, an annual third-party audit, and ongoing worker-led verification of compliance with EFI Standards.
EFI Standards apply to all fresh fruit and vegetable crops, focusing on three core components: labor practices, pesticide application, and food safety.
EFI Labor Standards: Labor indicators ensure that a safe, dignified and professional workplace is provided that promotes collaboration between management and farmworkers. The indicators include worker health and safety, freedom of association, fair wages, benefits and conditions of employment, freedom from discrimination and retaliation, dispute settlement, employer-provided housing, and protections for H2A and guest worker programs applicable to farmworkers.
EFI Pesticide Standards: Pesticide indicators promote an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach, emphasizing the use of biological and cultural tools for crop and pest management rather than the use of highly hazardous pesticides, therefore minimizing the impact of pesticides on workers and the environment. The indicators include the management of pests, soil, water, and habitat, and promote IPM.
EFI Food Safety Standards: Food Safety indicators, including farmworker hygiene alongside water use, soil amendments, land use, animals, harvest, and post-harvest activities, are linked to worker training that creates a culture of food safety on the farm.
Contact EFI to discuss your operations in more detail. This allows EFI to get a better understanding of what will be required for your farm to achieve certification, before issuing a quote for service.
EFI works with the farm to develop a Leadership Team that represents all parts of the workforce. The Leadership Team receives advanced training to help bring the farm into compliance with the EFI Standards.
SCS audits the farm and its workforce to assess compliance with the EFI Standards. A corrective action plan, which addresses any non-compliances, must be completed before a certification can be issued.
Once certified, products can be labeled with the “Responsibly Grown. Farmworker Assured.TM” certification mark, after a Licensing Agreement has been signed.
The Leadership Team monitors the operations throughout the year to assure the certification is being maintained.
EFI requires follow-up engagements and on-going training in order to achieve re-certification on a yearly basis.
How does EFI differ from other standards that address similar issues?
How can I prepare for EFI Certification?
Does EFI recognize any other standards for equivalency?
EFI works collaboratively to deliver: