A two-year study of the Equitable Food Initiative’s workforce development program found benefits to both companies and employees.
The study, conducted by BSD Consulting, gathered data in 2017 and 2018, according to a news release. The project included 19 farm visits, 21 focus groups, 476 interviews and the analysis of 81 audit reports.
So far, 59 farming operations in four countries have implemented the EFI model, according to a news release. Those farmers employ about 34,000 workers. More than $6.5 million has been generated in worker bonuses through the premium paid by participating retailers on certified product.
The research study, according to the release, found that improvements to working conditions, communication, and trust and transparency translated to greater ability by farms to attract workers, improve motivation, increase productivity and strengthen innovation.
“The staff feel more empowered, more engaged in our business and their voices matter,” Kevin Doran, CEO of Houweling’s Group, said in the release. “This has led to a tremendous amount of improvements that wouldn’t have been obvious to us unless they brought them forward.”
The seven-page summary report is available online.