Innovation and integrity have positioned Washington State-based Rainier Fruit as an industry leader in an “unprecedented year”, according to the company’s vice president of sales Blake Belknap.
“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments we have made in 2020,” explained Belknap. “We have continued to push the envelope and evolve as an industry leader.”
Belknap said Rainier Fruit has always prided itself on doing what best benefits every link in the supply chain, from its farms to end consumers.
Fitting with this vision, the company attained Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certification at two of its key locations in 2020. EFI certification addresses over 300 industry standards, including labour conditions, food safety, and pest management.
Rainier’s Mattawa farm – which produces apples, cherries and blueberries – along with its Zirkle Harrison packing facility were EFI certified over the 2020 US summer.
Approximately 1,500employees have benefited from the comprehensive EFI training, which is focused on ongoing collaboration between employees and management.
“That was a huge accomplishment, but one that wasn’t a stretch,” said Mark Zirkle, chief executive of Rainier Fruit. “You get out what you put in, treating people right is what we have done in my family for generations, we are just making things official.”