Taylor Farms’ strong commitment to food safety drew high praise from agriculture industry experts and leaders commenting on a staged Teamsters union protest effort to discredit the quality of our company’s products and force a contract on our employees without a vote.
“Taylor Farms is an innovator and thought leader in produce food safety,” said Bob Whitaker, PhD, Chief Science and Technology Officer for the Produce Marketing Association. “They have invested substantially in developing science and risk-based food safety programs.
“There’s no question food safety is a top priority at Taylor Farms and I am confident in their ability to deliver fresh, safe produce to millions of customers every day,” he said.
Dr. Whitaker said Taylor Farms has invested in the Center for Produce Safety over the years to fuel scientific research on produce food safety on behalf of the entire industry; developed proprietary and “truly innovative” products for produce wash systems to reduce cross contamination risks; shared their food safety achievements openly with the industry and the FDA; worked with their suppliers at all levels across the supply chain to help them improve their food safety practices; and invested heavily to upgrade facilities to improve their safety performance.
Western Growers, one of the country’s leading produce trade associations, said the union’s actions were “tired tactics” designed to “bully the company and tarnish Taylor Farms’ sterling reputation in an effort to eliminate the jobs of the very workers they desire to represent. This vindictive act of retaliation is deplorable and should be widely condemned.”
Taylor Farms takes well-deserved pride in our award winning, industry leading food safety program. Allegations by the union this week are baseless and simply a veiled attempt to impose their will and force bargaining. We are committed to supporting our employees and their right to choose freely whether to join a union through a secret-ballot election process. In fact, there was a vote in March 2014 and employees eligible to vote decided against representation by the Teamsters union. Our offer to the Teamsters has been simple and clear: Win an election of the employees they want to represent and Taylor Farms will negotiate a contract.
As always, we will continue to provide all of our employees with competitive wages and benefits while seeking to ensure that worker safety and security remains a high priority at Taylor Farms.