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CIERTO’s H2A Program Director Leads Responsible Recruitment Panel

Contributing to the People First Spotlight on Social Responsibility, cosponsored by The Packer (thepacker.com) and the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI), CIERTO H2A Program Director Norma Encinas played a key role in a panel on improving Responsible Recruitment by reducing forced labor in the Agricultural Industry.

CIERTO H2A Program Director, Norma Encinas

The Packer is a leading source of news, information, and analysis for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry.

The panel also featured Kenton Harmer, Managing Director of EFI, and Tom Karst, Editor of The Packer. 

The panel addressed the fact that big buyers like Costco and Walmart can play, and are playing, an increasingly significant role in making responsible recruitment standard operating procedure for employers throughout the global supply chain.

Encinas notes during the discussion that Costco and other retailers are sending market signals that they expect responsible recruiting from their suppliers.  

Norma also went into detail about CIERTO’s training modules, our recruitment process, and how we work collaboratively with growers and 3rd party certification partners to ensure that the labor supply chain is free of forced labor.

CIERTO’s ethical recruiting model matches worker profiles to the commodity to be harvested, rather than selecting by gender or number of workers needed. This protects the interests of workers, while ensuring that employers’ resources are being efficiently utilized.

This model has been lauded by outside observers like the International Labor Organization (ILO), who included CIERTO’s clean recruiting process in their widely distributed Ethical Recruiting Best Practices document.

“With proper training of a workforce, and collaboration with with employers who strive to offer quality work and working conditions, we can provide an equitable recruitment process for workers, and a quality harvest for your farms,” Encinas noted.

Demonstrating that taking a cost accounting approach to labor – where the ROI of your upfront investment is considered – is key to incentivizing ethical recruitment.

Encinas and CIERTO are leading the way in transforming H2A labor practices, through a program of transparency, continual improvement, and profit throughout the recruiting process.