EFI taints ag companies at Fresh Summit 2017

Association with the UFW-Equitable Food Initiative partnership is a big drag on retail produce companies, exhibitors are learning at the industry’s Fresh Summit convention. Companies receiving sharp criticism are exhibitors Houweling’s Tomatoes, Earthbound Farm, NatureSweet, Utah Onions (renamed Onions 52), and Windset Farms. All are EFI members. Pick Justice is at the event in New Orleans right now, handing out flyers and speaking to company leaders. Growers have a variety of choices for “responsible” agriculture certifiers, and EFI is only…

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UFW wants to protect some workers from deportation, but not if they oppose the union

The UFW takes two positions on foreign workers in the US under H2-A agricultural labor visas. Don’t let them get fired, because under the H2-A seasonal worker visa system, they will be deported. Fire any H2-A workers who oppose the UFW (and let them get deported). Here’s the latest: UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson says foreign farmworkers on H2-A visas are vulnerable to abuses, because if they complain about conditions, they risk getting fired, and if they get fired, they…

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Alpine’s not-so-fresh asparagus: In cahoots with UFW

Alpine Fresh is a Florida-based agriculture company that’s in league with the UFW, even though its workers are not UFW members. Teaming up with big agribusiness and retailers – apparently in exchange for not unionizing their workers – the UFW is bringing in a new source of cash and credibility to what is otherwise a dying union. That scheme is called the Equitable Food Initiative, a Washington, D.C.-based pressure group chaired by UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson. EFI’s coalition includes Houweling’s…

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LA Times treats UFW and UFW front as two separate groups

The Los Angeles Times is treating the UFW one of its front organizations as two separate groups. In a January 12 story on produce standards in Mexico, the Times quoted UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson as a critic. That’s proper journalism. But the Times then quoted someone from the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) as a separate authority – without disclosing that UFW VP Nicholson is Chairman of EFI. That’s sloppy journalism. To put it kindly. EFI says it’s to help…

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Houweling’s rotten tomatoes

Houweling’s Tomatoes is in a toxic partnership with a UFW front group to try to show its customers that it’s “helping” farm workers. Houweling’s seems not to care that the UFW is in collusion with politicians to force contracts on workers who vote NOT to be part of the union that neglected them for a generation. The UFW front group, called the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI), is a lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C., and partnered with low-cost retail giants…

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UFW calls $7.50 a day a ‘dignified wage’

UFW President Arturo Rodriguez is bragging that his union will raise farmworkers’ salaries by a whopping 50 percent in 5 years. But not in California. Rodriguez and UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson were in Nicaragua this week to push for the 50 percent raise for local farmworkers in the mountains of Matagalpa. A fifty percent raise sounds like a lot. But in Nicaragua, it’s very little, which is why the UFW didn’t attach a dollar figure to its work the…

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Why is UFW organizing in foreign countries, when it stopped organizing in California?

Dues-paying members of the United Farm Workers ought to ask union president Arturo Rodriguez what he’s doing with the 3 percent of their salary that the UFW takes out of their paychecks. They might ask, “Why is the UFW organizing people in Nicaragua, when it stopped organizing in California?” Earlier this year, California Agricultural Labor Relations Board Chairman William Gould lamented that union organizing had “completely disappeared” in the state’s many farms. Farmworkers have been paying Arturo Rodriguez’s UFW salary…

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Damaged goods: Costco joins UFW “equitable food” front group

In what promises to be a blow to its brand image, Costco has teamed up with a UFW front group to that will funnel money into the dying union and mislead customers into thinking that non-approved produce is “unsafe.” The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is a Washington, DC-based lobby chaired by UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson. Costco is heavily involved with EFI. The Initiative’s board secretary, Preston Witt, is Costco’s “Manager Supplier Code,” according to the EFI website. Another EFI…

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