Duncan Family Farms®, a 100% organic grower of a wide variety of produce, was awarded the 2017 All Ways Safe Agricultural Safety Award for a Large Company. They have been honored for all four of their farming operations in Brawley, Nipomo and New Cuyama, California and Buckeye, Arizona.
The prestigious All Ways Safe Agricultural Safety Award honors businesses and individuals who have committed themselves to ensuring the health and safety of their agricultural workers. Duncan Family Farms® was honored as the outstanding large company (51 or more workers) that ensures their workers go home safe and healthy. This is the first time in All Ways Safe history that a farming operation outside the state of California has been recognized.
“We don’t just throw ‘safety’ out there as a word or a slogan,” said Linda Kennedy, Employee Safety & Risk Management Supervisor at Duncan Family Farms®. “We truly take it to heart as one of our core values for every single individual at every single farm.”
To ensure the highest level of employee safety, Duncan Family Farms® has embraced collaboration with regulatory safety agencies, inviting both the California and Arizona Divisions of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA and ADOSH) to their farms as part of their consulting team to help identify potential risks and hazards annually. Even though their operations are separated by hundreds of miles, every location operates under the same core values of safety, excellence, integrity, community, team, and respect. Duncan Family Farms® has fostered a culture where employee safety is integral to the fiber of the company and they have made a commitment that they will never sacrifice safety over production.
“The team as a whole is honored to win this award and see all their efforts paying off,” said Kennedy. “At the end of the day, we really care about the well-being of people—our employees and our community—and having a strong safety program is the outcome of that ideal.”
Duncan Family Farms® recognizes the importance of maintaining a strict and detailed food safety program. Our quality assurance begins at the point of growing and continues through harvest and shipment. By implementing what is known as Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) we minimize the potential for product contamination. Our farm has created a program that incorporates the requirements set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) and customer specific procedures and protocols. The food safety program consists of, but is not limited to these steps:
- Continuous employee training of GAPs
- Internal audits of our ranches and harvest crews
- Participation of 3rd party Audits by USDA, LGMA and Primus Labs.
- Testing and monitoring of water sources
- Testing and monitoring of composted materials and soil amendments
- Preseason and pre-harvest inspections in order to monitor environmental conditions
- Raw product testing of pathogens
Standard Operating Procedures and Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures
The mission of Duncan Family Farms® is to develop and implement effective policies and procedures that reduce or eliminate accidents, injuries and illnesses through training, education and inspections. Duncan Family Farms® has implemented a stringent program that allows employees to feel safe in their working environment. We do this by establishing and enforcing good safety practices (SOP’s). Our employee safety procedures consists of effective policies such as:
- Injury and Illness Prevention Program
- Hazard communication SOP and mock drill
- Heat Illness program
- Forklift safety
- Tractor safety
- Blood borne pathogens
- Emergency response
In order to assure the safest possible work place, we conduct weekly and monthly tailgates along with detailed Crew Leader trainings. Our Employee Safety Committee is determined to assure that safety is one of our key farm practices.