Porterville, CA, (December 8, 2022) — Homegrown Organic Farms BB #:161459 is pleased to announce an expansion of their Equitable Food Initiative BB #:385632 certified acreage and organic commodities, becoming the first to earn certification in the citrus category. The new acreage joins the company’s fully EFI-certified stonefruit and blueberry programs, the first of which earned certification in 2020.
The Equitable Food Initiative is a certification process that develops partnerships between farm and packing facility employees and their management. These connections help create a trusting work environment while improving overall working conditions, cultivating confidence and teamwork between farmworkers and management, and building an overall culture of commitment and collaboration.
“Homegrown Organic Farms embodies the true spirit of EFI, going well beyond our standards to implement a people-centered operation that engages workers in every aspect of the operation,” says LeAnne Ruzzamenti, Director of Marketing Communications for EFI. “Their commitment and recent growth with the program bring the first citrus to EFI’s Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured label, something I know will excite socially conscious consumers wishing to identify and support the very best growers.”
As an ESOP, Homegrown Organic Farms has partnered with its sister company, AgriCare, to achieve the
expanded EFI acreage and commodities. Together, they represent nearly 11,000 acres of EFI-certified fresh
produce crops. Both companies look forward to partnerships with those who share in the commitment to
healthier and safer conditions for farmworkers and all employees throughout the supply chain.
“We are excited to continue to expand our EFI-certified programs for our customers and consumers. Caring for the land and people has always been a foundational value for both AgriCare and Homegrown. It’s only fitting for our family of companies to partner with programs like EFI that verify and increase the effectiveness of the work we’ve always done.” says Scott Mabs, CEO of Homegrown Organic Farms.
Since early November, Homegrown Organic Farms has partnered with retailers and distributors to ship EFIcertified organic citrus to stores. Certified varieties including navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges, Blood oranges, Clementines, Tango, and Gold Nugget Mandarins will continue shipping into the new year. The company’s fully certified blueberry program will start its California berry season in mid-April.
ABOUT HOMEGROWN ORGANIC FARMS
Located in Porterville, in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Homegrown Organic Farms is an organic fresh produce marketing company with over 300 combined years of fresh fruit experience and represents over 7,000 acres of organic produce. The company was started in 1998 by John and Cindy France and transitioned to employee-owned in 2021. Visit hgofarms.com to learn more.
AgriCare is a full-service farm management company that is headquartered in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The company manages both conventional and organic farms throughout California and Oregon. AgriCare’s services include farm management, organic farm services, agronomy, farm administration, crop accounting, food safety program management, and consulting. The company was started in 1990 by Tom and Karen Avinelis and transitioned to employee-owned in 2021. Visit agricare.com to learn more.
ABOUT EQUITABLE FOOD INITIATIVE
Equitable Food Initiative is a nonprofit certification and skill-building organization that seeks to increase transparency in the food supply chain and improve the lives of farmworkers through a team-based approach to training and continuous improvement practices. EFI brings together growers, farmworkers, retailers, and consumers to solve the most pressing issues facing the fresh produce industry. Its unparalleled approach sets standards for labor practices, food safety, and pest management while engaging workers at all levels on the farm to produce Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured® fruits and vegetables. For more information about Equitable Food Initiative, visit equitablefood.org.