WASHINGTON, D.C. — Equitable Food Initiative, the workforce development and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer advocacy groups, recently announced that CMI Orchards had achieved its first EFI certification.

More than 50% of the captive acreage of apples, cherries and pears marketed by CMI Orchards is EFI certified with the completion of certification of McDougall & Sons, growing partner and owner of CMI Orchards. 

The certification includes CMI's top-selling Daisy Girl Organics brand and its extensive selection of licensed branded apples in the United States. 

EFI certification puts CMI in the elite company of 50 farming operations throughout the Americas and 20 in the United States. The operation is also committed to further expanding the program by training more EFI leadership teams and moving toward certification of additional acreage and operations.

"CMI is an organization that has always been committed to responsible sourcing – social responsibility isn't just a trend, it's the right thing to do and something we have been focused on for many years," said Bob Mast, president of CMI Orchards. "Our philosophy has been to do the right thing, even when no one's looking, and so it makes sense to partner with EFI to officially certify that philosophy and the good work going on in all areas of our operation."

With EFI certification, CMI Orchards will:

  • Develop cross-functional leadership teams that train workers in soft skills.
  • Foster a culture for safer and more secure work environments.
  • Build better lines of positive communication and problem solving across departments.
  • Empower the workforce to be an active participant in the decision-making and strategic planning process.
  • Commit to systems rooted in continuous improvement for both compliance and performance.
  • Meet the industry's most rigorous standards in the areas of labor practices, food safety and integrated pest management.