2014 • 2 years
The Equitable Food Initiative (the Initiative) is a new organization, incubated as a project of Oxfam America, that is pioneering a multi-stakeholder approach to advancing worker protections, food safety, and environmental sustainability in the $140 billion fresh produce industry. This award supports the scale-up of the Initiative's voluntary scheme for certifying fresh produce farms that meet a rigorous set of standards for worker conditions, food safety practices, and responsible pesticide use. Through this program, farmworkers are trained to meet these standards and help identify and correct violations. The resulting reduction in unsalable, wasted produce will lead to greater margins for growers and higher wages for workers. A consumer-facing Equitable Food Initiative label, piloted by leading food retailers, will help drive consumer demand for produce from certified farms. With MacArthur support, the Initiative will scale up its certification program from 16 to 80 farms, employing 16,000 workers, a scale at which the Equitable Food Initiative expects to be able to achieve industry-wide impact.