CFVGA Focuses on Safety

CFVGA Focuses on Safety

Maura Bennett
Maura Bennett

Extra safety precautions and protective gear is helping Colorado fruit and vegetable growers keep their workers and themselves safe during this covid-19 pandemic

But President of the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Robert Sakata, says he’s still been losing sleep.

Sakata:“You hear the figures about agricultural employers, their average age is always increasing but what goes along with that is the age of agricultural employees is that way too. Because our employees have been working with us for a long, long time so their average age is up too. You worry about that because of their age as well. So I tell you, it was really keeping me up at night trying to figure out what we should be doing to protect our employees.”

Sakata Farms in Brighton was fortunate to have already marketed its onions and closed down the packing house when the coronavirus hit. Sakata says his core staff is back outside doing the field work and ground preparation.

Sakata, like other CFVGA growers, has posted signs in multiple languages instructing employees who feel sick not to enter. The farm shows employees videos on virus symptoms and transmission and how to work safe. Workers are encouraged to stay home if they are sick. Workers will be paid their regular salaries if they do get sick and can’t come in.

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