Rainier Fruit employees meet for training sessions during the EFI certification process in March. ( Courtesy Rainier Fruit )

Rainier Fruit, Selah, Wash., has earned Equitable Food Initiative certification for its largest farm, which is more than 2,300 acres.

The tree fruit grower has been working on the certification for three years, working with EFI to align the standards with Washington State labor laws, according to a news release. This is the first EFI program in Washington State’s tree fruit industry, according to a news release.

“The EFI training and certification process fosters symmetrical communication at operations such as Rainier for employees and management to identify and resolve problems that often don't emerge through other channels,” Kenton Harmer, managing director at EFI, said in the release.

Rainier Fruit formally began training employees in March. Managers and workers have been working to foster collaboration and problem-solving by focusing on worker engagement, satisfaction, labor retention and food safety, according to the news release.

“Working with EFI has confirmed our processes are always being tested to ensure our employees are being treated with integrity and excellence,” CEO Mark Zinkle said in the release. 

Rainier’s EFI certification includes organic and conventional apples, and organic cherries and blueberries.

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