In observance of National Farmworker Awareness Week, Wholesum celebrates another successful year with its Fair-Trade program, which empowers farmworkers, brings equity to the supply chain and uplifts farming communities.
In seven years, the Community Development Funds generated from the sales of Wholesum’s Fair Trade Certified produce have surpassed $5.8 million with more than $1.4 million raised in 2020.
Students from Wholesum Farms Pacific receiving their scholarships last month.
Last year alone, Wholesum brought these benefits to more than 1,000 employees at their family farms and at least 1,000 more in their partner grower network.
Fair Trade USA® standards promote sustainable incomes for farmworkers as well as safe and healthy working conditions.
Additionally, with the funds generated from sales of Fair-Trade certified produce, farmworkers have the capacity to invest in their futures and that of their communities through impactful projects that improve access to education, housing, community, nutrition and health services.
“We want to provide a good life to all our workers,” says Ricardo Crisantes, chief commercial officer of Wholesum. “The Fair-Trade program provides a framework that aligns with that purpose, helps us achieve it and allows the consumer to participate in it.” By selecting Fair Trade certified produce, consumers support companies that demonstrate responsibility to their workforce while also giving back to communities where the product came from. “It’s a complete cycle of goodness. What better way to honor our most essential workers than by making the choice for Fair Trade?” says Crisantes.
A family at a dental consultation at Wholesum Farms Pacific.
At the family farms, farmworkers have invested in and maintained many projects including medical and grocery vouchers, scholarship programs, community centers, a dental clinic and more.
“This has been our biggest year for Fair Trade,” says Crisantes. “We are very grateful to our partners who have supported the program and sourced responsibly. We are a part of an essential industry and our farmworkers are the ones who help us bring food to the table especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Through this support, farmworkers could count on emergency funds for unforeseen needs resulting from the pandemic such as medical care, additional transportation and even help covering emergency COVID-19-related funeral expenses for family members.
Kaleidos and Poppies from Wholesum's Flavor Lineup.
Fair Trade community development at Wholesum has largely taken place through innovation in the organic produce category. Many of the specialty organic produce offerings such as the Flavor Lineup, a collection of specialty snacking tomatoes, and Valentinos, its cocktail tomatoes, are only available under Fair Trade certified terms. This means every purchase of these items gives back to farming communities.
“With more product in the pipeline and exciting partnerships in the works, we anticipate another great year for our Fair-Trade program!” says Crisantes.