Wine Grapes COVID-19 Relief Pt 3

Wine Grapes COVID-19 Relief Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Looking at potential losses of nearly a billion dollars, the wine industry is calling on the USDA to include wine grape growers in the next round of coronavirus relief.

U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse, who is Co-Chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus, says that billion dollars is for Washington’s wine industry alone, but the problems extend well beyond …

NEWHOUSE … “Certainly, the pandemic has impacted other countries besides the United States, right, and so the trade issue, the exports that we haven’t been able to grow for the last several years have been negatively impacted as well.”

Beyond the trade issues, Newhouse says assistance is needed across the board …

NEWHOUSE … “Assistance there, assistance for, just like the PPP program that passed in the CARES Act earlier, that helped keep people employed, helped businesses pay their expenses, those kinds of things certainly applies in this case as well because of the impacts that are related to the coronavirus.”

But, Newhouse says relief is just that, relief … and not a cure-all …

NEWHOUSE … “Everyone knows nobody can anticipate or expect to be made whole in a situation like this. What we’re trying to accomplish is to make sure that we come out of this with a healthy industry that can rebound as quickly as possible.”

Washington state is the second largest wine grape producer in the U.S. with over 1,000 wineries and more than 300 wine grape growers statewide.

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