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Equitable Food Initiative announces new hires


WASHINGTON, November 8, 2023 – Equitable Food Initiative, BB #:385632 the capacity-building and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers, and consumer groups, is proud to welcome two employees filling new positions.

Joining EFI are Gabriela Lopez-Barry as the Ethical Charter Implementation Program project manager and Alexandra Martinez as marketing and sales associate.

Gabriela Lopez-Barry

Lopez-Barry also recently began with EFI as the ECIP project manager, helping to implement a framework that creates a baseline for accountability and ensures people throughout the fresh produce and floral industries are treated with dignity and respect. Before joining EFI, she worked in the high-quality food industry and in food system analysis for a decade and has experience launching and managing international brands in the U.S. market. Last year, Lopez-Barry participated in an intensive agroecology course in Puerto Rico, which included political theory, science-based learning and hands-on experience.

According to Lopez-Barry, “My background as a project manager in food systems and experience in managing food brands made working for EFI extremely appealing. I’m excited to work on ECIP which is poised to truly transform the industry around labor management systems.”

In her role as a bilingual marketing and sales associate, Martinez supports the team in a variety of marketing and sales outreach efforts with technical, communication and analytical skills. Martinez began her nonprofit journey volunteering for a children’s foundation as a marketing committee member, and for a microfinance group where she served as a business mentor. Passionate about the nonprofit sector, she became the marketing coordinator of the children’s foundation until she started her new role at EFI. Born and raised in Colombia, Martinez grew up surrounded by nature and considers herself an outdoor lover. When not working, she enjoys mountain biking, hiking and climbing.

Alexandra Martinez

Asked about her new position, Martinez replied, “Living in the United States helped me grasp the importance of adopting sustainable practices and making ethical decisions in the industries we encounter as consumers, including, of course, the agricultural industry.” She continued, “EFI’s strategy of bringing everyone to the table for a more transparent industry is a change I want to be a part of.”

“EFI is excited about the experience and fresh perspectives Alexandra and Gaby add to the team,” commented LeAnne Ruzzamenti, director of marketing and communications for EFI. “Alexandra’s skills and passion provide us with the support we need in executing our sales and marketing strategies, and Gaby’s extensive knowledge of the industry will serve us well as she manages the development and launch of the Ethical Charter Implementation Program. Being driven to make improvements that make this industry more sustainable is a popular mindset throughout the workforce today, and our employees come to EFI to positively impact the food system,” she concluded.

Industry members interested in learning more about EFI, workforce development tools, training modules and educational resources can access information online at To learn more about the Ethical Charter Implementation Program, visit

EFI works with 29 grower-shipper companies on 80 farming operations. Through the EFI certification program, 4,000 farmworkers and managers have been trained in problem-solving, communication and conflict resolution practices that are improving labor, food safety and pest management standards for more than 59,000 workers.

About EFI

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

View a list of EFI-certified farms at

Contact: LeAnne R. Ruzzamenti, (202) 524-0540,