Safety Rules for Tree Fruit Pt 2

Safety Rules for Tree Fruit Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Folks in the tree fruit industry are scrambling in an attempt to comply with a new set of safety rules set down by Washington Governor Jay Inslee just days before they were implemented.

Besides the tight timeline, Washington State Tree Fruit Association president Jon DeVaney says these new rules aren’t cheap …

DeVANEY … “There was a lot of financial burdens around this pandemic for not just agriculture, but all the businesses. But, growers are certainly not exempt from that just because you’re essential doesn’t mean that you’re not incurring huge compliance costs and seeing a decrease in your returns.”

And, DeVaney says it’s especially hard given our financial issues …

DeVANEY … “Even businesses in agriculture that have been allowed to stay open are experiencing very difficult economic times. And, I can’t even get very specific estimates from most growers on how much they’re having to spend because there are so many new costs and they’re still struggling to figure out how much of this is going to be a recurring cost and how much of it is one time for replacing personal protective equipment for employees for example. That’s going to be a recurring cost, but for how long.”

But unfortunately, DeVaney says it’s the current cost of doing business …

DeVANEY … “There are certainly a lot of monies being spent to both comply with these rules and keep the workforce and the general public safe at a time when it’s a struggle for growers to pay for those expenses. But, it is necessary and our industry is doing it.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the frustrations in the tree fruit world.

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