US produce marketer Alpine Fresh has been awarded Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certification for its growing operation in Guatemala.
It means that French beans carrying EFI’s Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured label will be available in Costco Wholesale.
The Guatemala farm joins two of Alpine Fresh’s EFI-certified, Mexican operations: MangoPack in Tecate and AgriBeans in Puebla.
This marks the 29th certification for EFI which partners with growers and retailers to create a more transparent food chain, safer food and healthier places to work. Its certification programme sets rigorous standards for labour practices, food safety and pest management.
In just a few years, EFI has worked with 18 grower-shipper companies in 47 locations, covering 39 produce commodities and impacting more than 30,000 farmworkers.
“We were the first packing operation certified by EFI, and now we’re proud to help EFI expand into Central America with our third certified operation,” said Manuel Rivera, vice president of fresh cut operations for Alpine Fresh.
“Our goal is to bring workers and management together to produce the highest quality fruits and vegetables in a socially responsible way, and EFI has helped us lead the industry in achieving that goal.”
As well as Guatemala, EFI’s programme now extends to seven Mexican states, four US states and two Canadian provinces.
“We’re glad to be able to expand into the Americas to further support Alpine Fresh’s growing supply chain,” said Kevin Boyle, director of business and new product development for EFI.
“Through this partnership, we’re creating a culture of continuous improvement, an engaged workforce and strong relationships based on trust and transparency.”