Working Together to Feed the World
A successful harvest depends on a skilled and reliable workforce, well-trained and legal to to work in the US. At CIERTO, we understand the challenges this can present. From securing seasonal employees, to navigating the complexities of the H-2A Program, our team of specialists and network of trusted partners equips us to help you connect with the most qualified prospects. We’ll make sure you’re always on the right side of immigration and labor laws, and maintain your healthy relationships with vendors. It’s all part of our mission to help growers feed the world.
Maintaining Supply Chain Integrity & Transparency
As every grower knows, today’s consumers are more and more concerned with the ethics of their food supply – including farm worker treatment and food safety. This has inspired vendors and retailers to apply increasing pressure to growers like you to make sure your seasonal employees are treated with respect and humanity, while adhering to the letter of the law.
These factors are important to retailers. That makes them important to you as well,
and CIERTO is uniquely positioned to work with you to address them.
Thanks to our commitment to integrity, we’ve built trusting relationships with both workers and retailers. We have an extensive network of partners throughout worker communities in Mexico and have created a powerful database of qualified seasonal workers, vetted and well-trained by our staff, and eager to find steady, sustainable work in the US.
Besides nurturing relationships with workers, we have built and maintained strong partnerships with large retailers in the US, including Costco, whose priorities include food safety, brand integrity, and the maintenance of a steady, reliable workforce.
As a grower, your mission is to expand your business in a sustainable, legal, and profitable manner. Good relations with both labor and retailers empower you to reach this goal more quickly, with less frustration, and fewer wasted expenses as you grow your company. Let us leverage our trusted relationships up and down the supply chain to help you stay on good terms with your seasonal laborers, your retailers, and the federal government.
Reach out to CIERTO to get started today.
Building Trusting, Profitable Relationships Up & Down the Supply Chain
The Costco Partnership
Effective strategies to address issues of forced labor and human trafficking must seriously address how workers are recruited from their communities of origin, with the goal of providing recruitment programs that support workers in a fair, legal and respectful manner…
Costco strongly supports the work of CIERTO in providing our suppliers with a vetted and transparent process of labor recruitment. The care by which the workers are screened, selected, trained and provided transportation by CIERTO to their eventual workplace and back home again – all in a way that is free of charge to the workers, safe, respectful and clearly communicated – results in a win-win for all involved.
Preston Witt, Human Rights Director
COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION
CIERTO’S clean recruitment process has been recognized by the International Labor Organization, with whom we developed this Best Practices document.
Helping Growers Navigate the H-2A Process
Consultation & Screening
The first step in the journey to a successful H-2A petition is to establish your labor needs. We’ll set up an initial, in-person meeting with you and your team to get up to speed on your unique requirements, to get familiar with your company’s culture, to identify previous recruitment challenges, and to establish direct and open communication channels. Up front consultation allows us to develop a collaborative approach to building a qualified, professional, career-minded workforce who are a good fit for your specific operation.
Once we’ve established a transparent, collaborative relationship with you, the grower, we develop a custom contract designed to locate and recruit great employees whose skills and experience meet your operation’s specific needs.
Identifying and cultivating these great employees is the most important part of our job. That’s why we never work with third party recruiters. Unlike other Farm Labor Contractors, we strive to develop trusted, long-term connections with the Mexican communities most of our employees call home. Besides helping to sustain high recruitment standards, working with in-house recruiters allows us to maintain transparency on our end, and to avoid common issues that can crop up during the recruitment process.
During our initial consultations, CIERTO will conduct a preliminary assessment to ensure that your workforce requirements qualify for an H-2A visa petition. Next, we’ll will work with you to create an employee profile that clearly lays out the major skills and characteristics your workers will need to succeed at their new jobs.
Once we’ve established that you meet H-2A requirements, and created a solid employee profile, we’ll get started recruiting your seasonal workforce.
Trusted Labor Recruitment
CIERTO handles the entire recruitment process, applying transparent, honest and humane labor practices that respect workers while screening for the most qualified prospects and protecting you from potential legal exposure. You won’t just be protected from legal exposure. Our processes will help differentiate your farm among retailers and consumers, positioning you as a leader in the implementation of best practices for exploitation-free production, distribution, and consumption.
Per H-2A regulations we advertise your job to US workers before moving on to recruiting foreign laborers. Once we’ve established that no American workers are available and willing to work the job, our staff will reach out to our well-established networks and community partners across Mexico to identify and engage qualified workers.
When possible, we recruit your crew from the same geographical area. Please email us for more information on this service.
Travel, Orientation & Housing
H-2A regulations require growers to supply or subsidize transportation for international guest workers from their communities of origin to the border, then to the farm at the beginning of the season. At the end of the season we monitor their return from the farm to their communities of origin when the harvest is over. CIERTO manages the logistics of transportation, and assists workers with I-90 documentation, interviews, and passage through passport control.
Before your new workers actually cross the border, we conduct an orientation session to prepare them to work in the US, and at your farm specifically. We then monitor the crew’s journey to your site, and provide initial transition support,
Growers are required to provide on-site housing for those workers who cannot travel home daily. CIERTO provides housing inspections to ensure your on site worker accommodations are comfortable and comply with applicable regulations. Comfortable housing and catering helps to maintain and enhance morale, and keeps labor relations amicable, and productivity high.
H2A Visa Petition
Once housing, catering, and transportation have been negotiated and secured your H-2A petition may be filed. CIERTO provides contract oversight and legal counsel for this aspect of the process. Let us ensure that all documentation is accurately prepared, signed, and submitted to your state’s workforce agency, the US Department of Labor, and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
With CIERTO managing the details, you’re free to focus your attention where it really matters: managing your farm.
By the time your new employees arrive at your job site, they have already successfully passed our comprehensive screening process. You can rest assured that these workers are diligent, dependable, knowledgeable about your crops, and excited to learn and apply their new knowledge to their work.
But they still need to be brought up to speed on the specifics of your operation. A high-performing workforce makes all the difference in how efficient and effective your farm operates. CIERTO’s proprietary 10-module, hands-on training series offers an extra round of quality screening and assurance, raising the level of professionalism of your workforce and improving the success of your harvest season.
Our training is designed to:
- Help workers develop an understanding of their role in your operation
- Set expectations as to what they will be doing on a day-to-day basis
- Establish, develop, and improve valuable skills
- Emphasize the importance of workplace safety
- Create a collaborative on site atmosphere among workers, managers, and owners
Our modules cover important topics such as the importance of safe food handling procedures; personal safety rules and regulations; work site problem solving, active listening, and conflict resolution; teamwork and the value of worker contributions to a safe, dependable food supply chain.
We cover your own farm’s specific rules and regulations, and for an additional fee we are happy to include a customized module to meet your needs and specifications.
Please email us for more information on this optional service.
Support & Ongoing Evaluation
Many Farm Labor Contractors simply disappear once your new workers arrive at your farm. Not CIERTO. A big part of our dedication to building trusted partnerships is our commitment to support your operation throughout the season.
Even on the most effectively-managed farming operations, unforeseen challenges arise. And when they do, we’ll be there, working with farm management and laborers to correct issues before they become liabilities.
As an added layer of protection to both you and your employees, we word with independent, third-party verification partners to safeguard your interests, touch base with workers, and ensure contract compliance on all sides. This third-party monitoring system serves to eliminate the fraudulent, corrupt, and dangerous practices that immigrant farm workers often face when relocating to the United States for work.
And make no mistake: retailers take note of vendors like you, who help them protect the integrity of the labor supply chain.
Additionally, our third-party monitoring partner is known and trusted by our crews because they are based in the same Mexican communities from which we hire our workers.
When your contract ends, we’ll conduct exit interviews with your team, and with individual workers. Our goal with these exit interviews is to pinpoint areas for improvement, and to establish a basis for those workers to return next season, with another year of experience – specific to your operation – under their belt.