CIERTO, the leading provider of responsible farm worker recruiting for growers in North America, has been awarded an $800,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation. The purpose of the grant is to help CIERTO expand its presence in the H-2A system, build its training teams and resources, and to expand its network of community partners.
Over the past five years, CIERTO has developed a holistic approach to ethical H-2A recruitment. The approach helps to protect the business interests of farms, while making positive impacts on the lives of workers, and allowing consumers to continue to enjoy safe, affordable produce.
This represents a paradigm shift in the way agribusiness looks at the labor supply chain, placing ethical recruitment at the center of a profitable business model.
The grant runs through July 2022 and will support CIERTO’s efforts to transform its approach into a standard that can be replicated and scaled industry-wide.
By leveraging the funds to engage outside expertise in collecting, analyzing, and reporting data, CIERTO will determine whether the best path to scalability is a franchise or licensing model, the creation of a modular toolkit based on CIERTO’s current practices, or a completely new pathway based on knowledge gained through the data gathering process.
Migrant and seasonal workers often face serious risks when recruited to farms in the US, including substandard living conditions, limited safety training, and hijacked wages. All in addition to the emotional and financial impacts of being far from home for long stretches at a time.
“As consumer awareness of these issues increases, growers need to know they’ll have a steady flow of labor trained to work productively on their farm. Workers need an avenue to these jobs that is free of exploitation, fraud and trafficking. Consumers need assurance that they’ll retain access to safe, high-quality produce. The grant will help us build capacity, with the goal of providing this protection up and down the supply chain.”
Joe Martinez, CEO, CIERTO
The grant will help support CIERTO in demonstrating that addressing these issues forcefully and proactively is a win-win proposition, helping growers stay in compliance, while at the same time, having life-changing impacts on workers and their communities of origin.
“Thanks to the contracts that my son has been able to complete in the United States, we were able to finish building our home… [and] help me get a much-needed surgery in my eye which would ensure I could see well again.”
Aristeo García, Father of Donato García, Farmworker at GoodFarms, LLC / Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce
Documenting and sharing these findings should help to strengthen the commitment of existing actors already reimagining their labor recruiting practices in an ethical framework, while providing powerful evidence and modeling that will draw new employers into the fold.
CIERTO is one of North America’s leading recruiters, dedicated to assisting employers with the federal H-2A visa program. We recruit, train, and place experienced workers on farms in the United States.
Our mission is to actively develop and maintain a professional, career-oriented, agricultural workforce, committed to returning to farms year after year