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 one of them. So, Pick Justice explains, there are good alternatives to the EFI, whose chairman is UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson.

One unknown group is visibly angry about EFI, distributing vulgar but accurate stickers about how association with EFI angers customers. Someone has been going around the convention floor distributing anti-EFI stickers. They even plastered Bourbon Street at night, causing agriculture leaders to laugh at EFI and trash-talk it as a UFW front.

Pick Justice chose the higher road, distributing leaflets to inform companies that the UFW abuses farmworkers, and that any association with EFI could taint their brand.

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