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Equitable Food Initiative Releases Request for Proposals for Auditing and Certification Services

The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) - a certification program owner focused on providing significant guidance on produce-related pest management, farm labor, and food safety - has publicly released a Request for Proposals that seeks qualified certification bodies interested in providing auditing and certification services in connection with EFI's certification scheme for farms growing fresh produce. All proposals must be received by EFI by Monday, July 14, 2014, in order to be considered.

EFI's certification system is intended to allow produce-growing farms to affix their produce with an EFI label if their operations are found to be compliance with the EFI's Equitable Food Initiative Standard following an audit. This standard, which can be applied to all types of vegetable and fruit crops, focuses on issues related to labor, food safety, and the environment, and sets down specific management processes that can be used to demonstrate that a given farm is in compliance with the standard.

The selected bidder will be required to provide both auditing and certifications in accordance with the EFI certification scheme, and to effectively manage relationships with growers seeking EFI certification, gather and assess evidence through interviews with farmworkers, and offer input toward the ongoing refinement of the scheme. They must also achieve American National Standard Institute (ANSI) accreditation in connection with the scope of the EFI's scheme, among other requirements.

In addition to its role as the coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, ANSI is an internationally recognized accreditation body that assesses the competencies of certification bodies of product/process/services that certify the conformance of food and food-related products/process in accordance with certification programs. The ANSI accreditation process is in accordance with the international standard ISO/IEC Guide 65, Conformity Assessment - General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems (new ISO/IEC 17065).

The full RFP is available online. All responses must be sent to Kenton Harmer, EFI director of certification, via email at [email protected].

To learn more about ANSI's accreditation activities, visit


Jana Zabinski

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Beth Goodbaum

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