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EFI highlights organizational benefits of family-friendly policies

Equitable Food Initiative, the capacity-building and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers, and consumer groups, is highlighting the benefits of being a family-focused company.

With back-to-school underway, employees may be feeling the strain of new schedules and extra expenses for everything from back-to-school supplies to sports equipment and school fees. The National Center for Farmworker Health reports that 43% of U.S. farmworkers have at least one child in the household.

According to Compensation & Benefits Review, providing paid leave and flexibility for workers to take care of families, medical issues, and caregiving without making financial trade-offs helps improve retention, productivity, and employee participation. With the current labor shortage in agriculture, forward-looking organizations can make workplace retention a priority with family-friendly policies. Such policies also help boost morale, job satisfaction, and loyalty while reducing burnout.

While some might consider lost profits when workers use paid time and flexibility, studies show that paid leave brings a high return on investment and many positive effects for the organization and employees. It is also reported that as outside stress on farmworkers decreases, they can place more focus on their work, with improved outcomes for safety and quality.

LeAnne Ruzzamenti, director of marketing and communications for EFI, points out the importance of listening to farmworkers and administrative staff when considering family-friendly policies. “Employees have different demands and expectations, so working with them to ensure that policies meet their needs will bring organizations the most positive impacts. Understanding their challenges is the first step to improving their well-being and your bottom line, and that could be as easy as anonymous surveys.”

Before another school year goes by, EFI recommends that farming operations review their policies to identify more family-friendly opportunities. Creating a flexible and supportive work culture will help farms be recognized by workers as an employer of choice in a tight labor market.

For more information:
LeAnne R. Ruzzamenti
Equitable Food Initiative
Tel.: +1 (202) 524-0540
[email protected]

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