Oct 12, 2020
Karla Cook to lead Equitable Food Initiative’s certification efforts

On its continued path of growth, Equitable Food Initiative, the workforce development and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer advocacy groups, has hired Karla Cook as certification manager.

Cook brings extensive industry experience with compliance programs, and her addition will expand EFI’s capacity to certify farms across the Americas.

EFI sought a manager to oversee the ongoing implementation of the certification program for both existing and new farming operations. In her role, Cook will be supporting certified operations, shepherding new farms through the certification process and helping evolve the EFI standards by overseeing the multi-stakeholder standards committee.

Karla Cook

Cook has worked on social compliance programs for several major brands and most recently ran her own compliance and human resources consulting firm. Prior to that she spent more than a decade as the divisional manager of operations for Latin America at Walmart Global Sourcing where she oversaw the execution of Walmart’s compliance program for the region’s supply chain, among other tasks. She previously held the roles of ethical standards regional manager for Latin America/Central America and Mexico since 2006. She is currently finishing her master’s in renewable energy with an emphasis on environmental management systems.

“Karla brings extensive knowledge of compliance programs, a deep experience with the industry and the problem-solving and team collaboration we look for in all team members at EFI,” said Kenton Harmer, managing director at EFI. “She understands the perspectives from each aspect of the supply chain, which is essential with EFI’s multi-stakeholder approach.”

As certification manager, Karla Cook will report to the managing director and will work closely with the data systems team around the equitable implementation of the EFI scheme across geographies, commodities and business models. Additionally, she will coordinate closely with the business development and workforce development teams. In her role she will also manage EFI’s current and future licensed certifying bodies and auditors, interface with growers and allow for close coordination with the standards committee of the EFI board of directors.

Equitable Food Initiative is a nonprofit certification and skill-building organization that seeks to increase transparency in the food supply chain and improve the lives of farmworkers through a team-based approach to training and continuous improvement practices. EFI brings together growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumers to solve the most pressing issues facing the fresh produce industry. Its unparalleled approach sets standards for labor practices, food safety and pest management while engaging workers at all levels on the farm to produce Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured® fruits and vegetables. For more information about Equitable Food Initiative, visit equitablefood.org/.

View a list of EFI-certified farms at equitablefood.org/efi-certified-farms/.

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