Aug 16, 2023
EFI promotes staff

Equitable Food Initiative has promoted two organization veterans to help the group’s expanding workforce development strategies and implement its Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices.

Kevin Boyle

In his new role as director of organizational and workforce development, Kevin Boyle is responsible for working with growers, workers and retailers to define and implement an industrywide framework for skills development and management competencies. Boyle’s new project is working with industry, education and community partners to develop a skill-building and credentialing framework that provides transparent career ladders for agricultural workers and managers, according to a news release.

Kenton Harmer, a longtime EFI employee, has been named director of market-based impact. In his new role, Harmer is responsible for bringing scalable, continuous improvement products to supply chains, including and beyond fresh produce. Focusing on technology and consulting products, Harmer will engage new populations of workers and organizations in using interactive tools, assessments, worker surveys and data collection. He will also head up development of an assessment tool for the fresh produce industry that aims to increase supply chain engagement in ethical workforce management and strengthen management systems to better align with the Ethical Charter.

Boyle joined EFI nearly 15 years ago as a consultant to assist in the organization’s development and to facilitate the multistakeholder process that formed the nonprofit and its certification standards. In 2015, he officially joined full time as director of workforce development and then took responsibility for business and new product development, where he was instrumental in designing the certification program and onboarding EFI’s grower partners.

Kenton Harmer

“Stepping into this new role is an exciting opportunity to innovate, drive meaningful growth and continue shaping the future of our industry for farmworkers and growers,” Boyle said in the release. “Farmworkers are some of the most knowledgeable and skilled in all of agriculture and harnessing that value and developing their skills further is an opportunity that will benefit the entire food supply chain.”

Harmer joined EFI 10 years ago as director of certification and impact, where he was instrumental in developing the EFI standards through EFI’s multistakeholder process, managing the policies and relationships that comprise the EFI certification program, and advancing awareness and recognition of forced labor in the agricultural labor supply chain.

“I have greatly enjoyed working within EFI’s multistakeholder network to deliver a compliance tool for fresh produce through EFI’s certification,” Harmer said in the release. “I am excited now to build a continuous improvement program that scales throughout supply chains, brings agricultural operations the resources they need to assess and improve, and creates a market signal that encourages and rewards that engagement.”

EFI works to improve the lives of farmworkers and drive business performance by integrating worker voice and engagement throughout the supply chain. As a multistakeholder organization, EFI brings together growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumers to create assessment, training and organizational development programs that support continuous improvement and address the industry’s most pressing problems.

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