Dec 30, 2020
Equitable labor certification year’s highlight for organic apple heavyweight
An unprecedented year highlighted innovation and integrity at Rainier Fruit Company that lead to groundbreaking and industry-setting standards.
“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments we have made in 2020,” said Blake Belknap, vice president of sales, “we have continued to push the envelope and evolve as an industry leader.”
Rooted in family, Rainier has always prided itself on doing what is going to benefit everyone from their farms to the consumer. This is seen in the certifications that were earned in 2020, one of the proudest being the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certification. The EFI certification addresses over 300 standards including labor conditions, food safety, and pest management.
Two key locations were EFI-certified this summer. One of Rainier’s largest ranches, the Mattawa ranch with over 2,300 acres, is home to a fantastic menu of organic and high-flavor varieties, like Honeycrisp, Envy, Pink Lady, Jazz, and organic cherries and blueberries. In addition, Zirkle Harrison houses 6 packing lines, 100 CA rooms, and 29 shipping bays totaling in over 1.5 million square feet. Between the field and the facility approximately 1,500 employees have been directly impacted by the comprehensive EFI trainings that are focused on ongoing collaboration between employees and management.
“That was a huge accomplishment, but one that wasn’t a stretch,” said Mark Zirkle, CEO at Rainier. He added, “You get out what you put in. Treating people right is what we have done in my family for generations. We are just making things official.”
“We are a company founded on integrity and deeply integrated from the dirt to the trade. That provides clarity and reliable supply that our customers rely on, 365 days a year. I cannot wait to see the amazing things that are going to happen at Rainier Fruit Company in 2021,” Belknap said.