WENATCHEE, WASH. - Stemilt has earned the Equitable Food Initiative certification at its orchard in Quincy, Wash., where the company grows apples and cherries.
“Our team members are the driving force behind World Famous Fruit and our constant journey towards ensuring our fruit delights consumers,” said West Mathison, Stemilt president. “A trusted certification like EFI helps us cultivate people who produce World Famous Fruit. Quincy is a large orchard that is now benefitting from the continuous improvement work of our 11-person leadership team. EFI provides valuable workplace skills training and helps us put processes in place to practice great communication and collaboration every day.”
To achieve EFI certification, farms must meet over 300 standards in labor practices, food safety and pest management. Stemilt’s Quincy orchard went through a third-party verification audit conducted by SCS Global Services to ensure it complied with EFI standards. The certification is valid for three years.
With the Quincy’s certification now in place, Stemilt will quickly expand the EFI program throughout its operations. The company will work with EFI to train and certify all Stemilt farms in 2021 and will also start implementing the EFI program at its packing facilities.
“We always say that World Famous Fruit is a journey, not a destination,” said Mathison. “There is always work to be done to achieve our mission and this first EFI certification is going to equip our team members to ensure we are always innovating.”