Rouge River Farms, which specializes in tray-packed and year-round sweet corn, now has all of its U.S. operations Equitable Food Initiative certified.
In May 2018, Rouge River Farms was the first company on the East Coast to earn an EFI certification, and the company has completed its nationwide EFI certification effort.
This marks the 30th certification for EFI, which partners with growers and retailers to create a more transparent food chain, safer food and healthier places to work.
Rouge River Farms’ operations in Florida, Georgia and Virginia have now met more than 300 standards to earn EFI certification, based on independent assessment conducted by third-party certifier SCS Global Services.
“Through EFI’s workforce development and certification program, Rouge River Farms has demonstrated its commitment to the principles of the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor
Practices,” SCS Sustainability Program Manager Bonnie Holman said. “Accountability, increased transparency and responsible labor practices are the guiding principles of the charter, which is why SCS has endorsed this industrywide effort. Companies like
Rouge River Farms should be applauded for their leadership in these arenas.”
Rouge River produces the only EFI-certified sweet corn, which is available featuring EFI’s Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured label in select Costco Wholesale locations east of the
Mississippi River. Farmworkers receive a bonus from each Rouge River sweet corn purchase made at Costco.
“EFI is so much more than an audit. It is a holistic approach that transforms the way workers interact. I have seen how EFI can make a company better,” Rouge River Farms Senior Compliance Manager Margaret Stuart said. “After the EFI Leadership Team training, I saw an increase in productivity among the workers in our facility. I saw their behaviors and expectations of one another change, and saw that they were taking more pride in their work.”
In its first four years of operation, EFI has worked with 21 grower-shippers companies on 64 farm locations, covering 38 produce commodities and impacting more than 33,000 farmworkers.
For more information on EFI, visit www.equitablefood.org.