Hot Goods

Hot Goods

Hot Goods. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

When you hear the term “hot goods” there are a number of things that come to mind but Dan Fazio with Washington Farm Labor Association talks about what “hot goods” mean for agriculture.

FAZIO: So that would be any goods that are produced illegally and enter into inter-state commerce. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act says that things that were produced with illegal labor, it’s illegal to ship them in inter-state commerce.

And Fazio says there are several ways that this “hot goods” issue comes into play.

FAZIO: If you used child labor on your farm that would make the goods “hot” or if you used illegal workers, worker that you were not paying the minimum wage to, that would make them “hot.”

Recently this issue has come up over injunctions that have suspended shipments of blueberries from Oregon into Washington.

FAZIO: In the Oregon situation the farmer is alleging that the worker was just a super productive worker. The Department of Labor says that only one person can pick 60 pounds of blueberries in an hour and so this guy picked 90 pounds of blueberries in an hour and they said he must have had someone helping him and the farmer said, no he didn’t.

Often times workers will have friends or family help them out with picking and the extra workers will hand over the bin tickets making it look like one employee is really a hard worker. But also at issue here is how that whole situation is being handled and we’ll talk more tomorrow with Dan Fazio on this potentially damaging situation.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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