Farm Journal

The Packer and Equitable Food Initiative Partner to Provide Social Responsibility-Focused Content in 2022

Lenexa, Kan., (Dec. 13, 2021) The Packer and Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) announce a second webinar series to further educate fresh produce industry professionals about the importance of a healthy, skilled workforce and the programs that support it. People First is a spotlight on social responsibility in fresh produce that will include several weeks of focused content published and promoted across The Packer platforms, with a four-part, bi-weekly webinar series that kicks off January 11, “People First 2022: Producing Sustainable Innovation.”

The webinar series is free and will feature thoughtful conversations with and in-depth analysis from key thought leaders and changemakers in the field and will cover popular topics that The Packer readers and EFI members have indicated are important to the industry. The schedule includes:

  • January 11: Challenges and Opportunities for the American Grower – Scott Mabs, Homegrown Organic Farms; Kevin Boyle, EFI; and Amy Sowder, The Packer and PMG
  • January 25: Solving Labor and Recruitment Challenges – Matt Rogers, AgSocio; Norma Encinas, CIERTO; and Kenton Harmer, EFI
  • February 8: Hiring for the Skills of Tomorrow – Vivian Page, Stemilt; Luis Octavio Lopez Calzada, JV Smith Companies; and Kevin Boyle, EFI
  • February 22: Greenhouses for the Sustainable Future – Kieran Ficken, Measure to Improve; Windset Farms; and Lilian Autler, EFI

“Given the farm labor shortage, rapid technological innovation and new challenges from a changing climate, many organizations have begun to take a closer look at how investments in workforce development, social responsibility programming and sustainability practices can set them up to meet the supply chain needs of the future,” said Peter O’Driscoll, executive director of EFI. “The produce industry has made progress but there is more work to do in building a resilient and professional workforce with the skills and commitment necessary for innovation. EFI is proud to partner with The Packer in convening industry thought leaders who can help advance the concept of “People First” to build healthy and productive companies that will thrive in the future.”

Supplemental content — ranging from podcast and video interviews to a special insert in the March 7 issue of The Packer newspaper — will be featured and promoted via a dedicated People Firstportal on where all program components will be available. These activities will deliver concentrated content to a targeted audience and enable brands throughout the fresh produce supply chain to align with those who are leading the charge in the creation and success of “People First” initiatives.

“After the performance of our first collaborative educational series in the spring of 2021, we knew that we wanted to partner again with EFI to provide more of the relevant and trusted content that fresh produce professionals are seeking,” said Matt Morgan, executive vice president, produce at Farm Journal. “Our hope is that People First will once again inspire and drive connection opportunities for our collective audiences and customers. There is a lot of positive energy around this all-important topic, and we’re excited to help continue that momentum.”

To learn more about the program, including webinar series details and how to register for free, go to

About Farm Journal

Farm Journal is the nation’s leading business information and media company serving the agricultural market. Started 145 years ago with the preeminent Farm Journal magazine, the company serves the row crop, livestock, produce and retail sectors through branded websites, eNewsletters and phone apps; business magazines; live events including conferences, seminars and tradeshows; nationally broadcasted television and radio programs; a robust mobile-text-marketing business; and an array of data-driven, paid information products. Farm Journal also is the majority shareholder of the online equipment marketplace, Machinery Pete LLC. In 2010, the company established the non-profit, public charity, Farm Journal Foundation, dedicated to sustaining agriculture’s ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population through education and empowerment.

About Equitable Food Initiative (EFI)

Equitable Food Initiative is a nonprofit certification and skill-building organization that seeks to increase transparency in the food supply chain and improve the lives of farmworkers through a team-based approach to training and continuous improvement practices. EFI brings together growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumers to solve the most pressing issues facing the fresh produce industry. Its unparalleled approach sets standards for labor practices, food safety and pest management while engaging workers at all levels on the farm to produce Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured® fruits and vegetables. For more information about Equitable Food Initiative, visit

For more information regarding this or other information, please visit our contact us page.

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