Fernanda Suárez of NatureSweet Tomatoes and Natalie Camacho Mendoza of Farmworker Justice have been elected to the board of directors of Equitable Food Initiative, a multi-stakeholder workforce development and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer groups.
In a press release issued by EFI, the organization highlighted its commitment to electing board members who reflect the diversity of perspectives across the fresh produce industry.
“We believe in representative decision-making and our board composition assures that all players in the produce supply chain are at the table, including retailers, grower-shippers, farmworkers and consumers,” said Peter O’Driscoll, executive director of EFI. “I am thrilled to welcome these talented and compassionate women to our board to join EFI in promoting better agricultural workplaces, and a more equitable food system.”
Suárez, based in Guadalajara, Mexico, is the sustainability and social impact director for NatureSweet Tomatoes. She brings more than a decade of experience focused on human resources and social compliance. “As an HR professional, I understand the power of individuals to contribute to the greater good, and I’ve seen firsthand how powerful diversity, equity, leadership training and inclusion initiatives can be in transforming cultures,” said Suárez. “EFI provides opportunities for organizations to be a champion for farmworkers and ultimately be the change we want to create in building safer, more equitable food supply chains.”
Camacho Mendoza joins EFI as an extension of her role with Farmworker Justice. She is an attorney and owner of Camacho Mendoza Law. Her family roots are in the agriculture and railroad industries, and she has worked in Idaho with and on behalf of unions and employers and as a farmworker advocate. “My goal is to encourage more comprehensive views of farm labor and help all stakeholders understand the business side of agriculture,” said Camacho Mendoza. “On the heels of the pandemic, more people are aware of the ‘always essential’ workers who contribute to our food supply, and I’m eager to leverage that for improving working conditions and supporting everyone who plays a role in agriculture.”