Equitable Food Initiative

Responsibly Grown. Farmworker Assured™

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The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) cultivates a healthier, safer and more sustainable produce supply chain by combining food safety, pesticide management, and the fair treatment of workers under one certification. EFI’s coalition of growers, retailers, unions, NGOs, and consumer rights groups developed the EFI Standards, which include indicators for responsible labor and environmental practices, and increased worker involvement in food safety management. EFI certification requires the training of farmworkers, an annual third-party audit, and ongoing worker-led verification of compliance with EFI Standards.

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Why Choose SCS?

SCS worked with EFI to write, pilot and launch their standard in agricultural production based on our decades of experience in food safety and sustainable agriculture assessment. Thus, SCS became the first certification body auditing to the EFI Standards.

SCS is proud to be a member of APSCA, a professional international association promoting the use of reputable independent social audits as a tool to advance workplace conditions globally. We work with APSCA certified auditors who this association identifies as highly experienced social auditing experts with an in depth knowledge in management systems, health and safety, and labor inspections.

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EFI Standards apply to all fresh fruit and vegetable crops, focusing on three core components: labor practices, pesticide application, and food safety.

EFI Labor Standards: Labor indicators ensure that a safe, dignified and professional workplace is provided that promotes collaboration between management and farmworkers. The indicators include worker health and safety, freedom of association, fair wages, benefits and conditions of employment, freedom from discrimination and retaliation, dispute settlement, employer-provided housing, and protections for H2A and guest worker programs applicable to farmworkers.

EFI Pesticide Standards: Pesticide indicators promote an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach, emphasizing the use
of biological and cultural tools for crop and pest management rather than the use of highly hazardous pesticides, therefore minimizing the impact of pesticides on workers and the environment. The indicators include the management of pests, soil, water, and habitat, and promote IPM.

EFI Food Safety Standards: Food Safety indicators, including farmworker hygiene alongside water use, soil amendments, land use, animals, harvest, and post-harvest activities, are linked to worker training that creates a culture of food safety on the farm.

EFI Processing & Packing Standards: Processing & Packing indicators that must be met to receive and maintain EFI certification for farms that have their processing and packing operations in scope.

EFI Ethical Charter Addendum: The Addendum is based on the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices where most of its principles are already covered by the EFI Social Standards, however, the ECA covers additional items that were not included. This is audited in conjunction with the EFI Social Standards upon request by the grower.

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SCS Certified Clients

Learn more about the clients we certify and where to find products with this certification.