Starr Ranch welcomes fall with Fair Trade certification
Starr Ranch Growers is set for fall apple harvest with its new Fair Trade USA authorization. The Wenatchee, WA-based company recently gained certification from Fair Trade USA — an agreement that solidified 3,300 acres in both the Wenatchee and Quincy Custom Apple Packing Facilities. The authorization from Fair Trade USA did not come without collective dedication and persistence to strengthen and grow the existing Starr Ranch Growers core values, sustainability efforts and enhanced company culture.
“The goal of becoming Fair Trade Certified has been a top priority of ours as we’ve built upon our sustainability program,” said Brett Reasor, CEO of Starr Ranch Growers. “We’ve placed a significant emphasis on generating sustainable solutions. The core pillar of our sustainability initiatives begins with the people — which is why we value farm worker welfare and community development, while nurturing the land in which we grow.”
Fair Trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, consumers, advocates and organizations putting people and planet first. A choice for Fair Trade Certified goods is a choice to support responsible companies who empower farmworkers. Retailers pay a premium on goods that are Fair Trade Certified to promote employee welfare, 80 percent of premiums are paid back directly to the farm workers, which indirectly supports local communities at large. For Starr Ranch Growers, this means a commitment to additional support and compensation for its employees and personnel working directly in the orchards.
“Our farm workers and labor personnel are the backbone and core of our business — this is our commitment to providing further incentives, support and opportunities for all,” said Reasor.
While the company was granted certification for apples just in time for fall harvest, they also plan to work toward certification for additional commodities in the new year.
“It is our social responsibility to ensure every Starr Ranch Growers employee has a seat at the table — whether they’re in an orchard, warehouse or office,” said Jim Thomas, owner and president of Starr Ranch Growers. “It started out as certifying allocated sites within our operations, but we quickly knew we couldn’t stop there, and have since expanded certification to all Starr Ranch orchards and Custom Packing Warehouses — benefitting nearly 1,800 farm workers. I couldn’t be prouder of our team on this milestone achievement.”
The company looks forward to the continued partnership with Fair Trade USA and displaying the trademarked logo on their consumer cartons and apple bags, while working together toward ensuring additional commodities are certified in the coming year.