WASHINGTON, November 8, 2023 – The Equitable Food Initiative, BB #:385632 the capacity building and certification organization that partners with producers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer groups, is proud to welcome two staff members to new positions.
Joining EFI are Gabriela Lopez-Barry as Project Manager of the Ethics Charter Implementation Program and Alexandra Martinez as Marketing and Sales Associate.
Lopez-Barry also recently started with EFI as the ECIP project manager, helping to implement a framework that creates a foundation for accountability and ensures that people in the fresh produce and flower industry are treated with dignity and respect. Prior to joining EFI, she worked in the food industry with high quality and food systems analysis for a decade and has experience launching and managing international brands in the US market. Last year, López-Barry participated in an intensive agroecology course in Puerto Rico that included political theory, science-based learning and hands-on experience.
According to Lopez-Barry, “My experience as a project manager in food systems and experience in managing food brands made working for EFI extremely attractive. I am 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 various marketing and sales 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 non-profit sector, she became the Children’s Foundation Marketing Coordinator until she started her new role at EFI. Born and raised in Colombia, Martinez grew up surrounded by nature and considers herself an outdoorsman. When not working, she enjoys mountain biking, hiking and climbing.
Asked about her new position, Martinez said, “Living in the United States has helped me understand the importance of adopting sustainable practices and making ethical decisions in the industries we face as consumers, including, of course, the agricultural industry.” She continued, “EFI’s strategy to bring 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 that Alexandra and Gabby 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 to execute our sales and marketing strategies, and Gabby’s extensive industry knowledge will serve us well as she manages the development and launch of the Charter Implementation Program.” Being pushed to make improvements that make this industry more sustainable is a popular mindset among 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 equitablefood.org. To learn more about the Ethical Charter Program, visit ethicalcharterprogram.org.
EFI works with 29 producer and carrier companies on 80 farm operations. Through the EFI certification program, 4,000 farmworkers and managers are trained in problem-solving, communication, and conflict resolution practices that improve labor, food safety, and pest management standards for more than 59,000 workers.
The Equitable Food Initiative is a nonprofit certification and skills-building organization that seeks to increase transparency in the food supply chain and improve the lives of farmworkers through a team-based approach to learning and continuous improvement practices. EFI brings together growers, farmers, retailers and consumers to solve the most pressing issues facing the fresh produce industry. His unparalleled approach sets standards for labor practices, food safety and pest management, while engaging workers at all levels of the farm to produce Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured® fruits and vegetables. For more information about the Equitable Food Initiative, visit equitablefood.org.
See a list of EFI-certified farms at equitablefood.org/farms.
Contact: LeAnne R. Ruzzamenti, (202) 524-0540, [email protected]