Swanton Berry Farm
Today, founder Jim Cochran, along with co-owners Sandy Brown, Adelfo Antonio, Juan Barranco, Bill Kennedy, Rachel Chatham, Jackie Olivares, Luis Ruiz, Tim Campion and Tim Hudson, farm on 80 leased acres in Santa Cruz County, and grow amazing Chandler Strawberries, Artichokes, Snap and English Peas, Brussels Sprouts, and other crops. The farm is proud to not only carry CCOF organic certification, but to also address issues organic certification doesn't touch surrounding labor practices. Swanton Berry Farm is proud to be the first organic farm in the country to sign a contract with the United Farmworkers of America AFL-CIO, printing the Union Label on all their beautiful blue strawberry flats.
Employees at Swanton have the best pay scale in the industry, a medical plan, a retirement plan, vacation pay and holiday pay. Swanton is proud to pay on an hourly rate, as opposed to the industry standard of a piecemeal rate, so that employees don't wreak havoc on their bodies by sprinting up and down the rows of strawberries in order to make a few extra dollars a day. Time off to take care of their children's needs is always granted on an unlimited basis to employees. In 2005, Swanton began to offer ownership opportunities to career-oriented employees in the form of stock bonuses.
These benefits, some a result of the UFW contract, are also recognized by Swanton being one of two entities in California to be Food Justice Certified by the Agricultural Justice Project. These practices and others mean that Swanton incurs higher labor-related costs, but they think it's worth it, and we here at Good Eggs are happy to pay a bit of a premium for produce that's not only delicious but is also produced by an employer with industry-leading benefits.