May 18, 2020Misionero first processing-only facility to be EFI certified
After two years of preparation, Gonzales, California-based Missionero, a grower of organic leafy greens, announced its Gonzales facility received Equitable Food Initiative certification.
According to a news release, this makes the Gonzales facility the first processing-only facility to be certified in the U.S., and the first EFI-certified operation located in the Salinas Valley. Misionero’s Yuma, Arizona facility is also in process of certification.
To acquire the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certification, Misionero received the required leadership and skill development training, as well as an audit by a third-party certifying body. Misionero is currently partnering with its growing partners to bring the first EFI-labeled leafy greens into the marketplace.
Pete Donlon, vice president at Misionero, has been involved with EFI since its inception in 2015, and serves on the EFI standards committee. EFI certification holds the most rigorous standards in the industry for labor practices, food safety and pest management to create a more transparent food chain, grow safer food, and develop healthier places of work.
“At Misionero, we’re constantly working to build and maintain a company culture focused on our employees and customers,” said Donlon. “We could not be more proud of what has been accomplished. Our EFI leadership team is the key to meeting the EFI requirements, as well as ensuring we operate as a cohesive group, tackle issues head-on and live the standards every day.”
An EFI certification establishes greater transparency within the produce supply chain. While the program requires significant effort to instill a culture of continuous improvement, it provides growers competitive advantages in the marketplace by developing worker-management collaboration, meeting buyer requirements and highlighting their best-in-class practices to consumers.
“Misionero has proven its leadership and dedication to its organization and industry by becoming the first EFI certified operation in the California Salinas Valley – the salad bowl of the world,” said Kenton Harmer, director of certification for EFI. “Achieving EFI certification proves the commitment of both Misionero and its staff. The ability to work together to meet the industry’s most rigorous standards is a testament to the collaborative culture they’ve built.”
To learn more about Misionero’s leadership and innovative practices, and to see the wide range of products offered, visit www.misionero.com.
Misionero, founded in 1973 by Floyd Griffin, is a leader in the organic specialty salad category. Misionero grows, harvests, produces and packages high quality, vegetables grown year-round. Additionally, the company produces products sold under the Earth Greens Organic, Garden Life, and Green Wave Farms label. For more information, visit www.misionero.com.
EFI 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 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 www.equitablefood.org.