Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Finding farmworkers is hard enough for Northwest growers, but their challenges are compounded by numerous accusations about the mistreatment of the workers they do have.

WAFLA CEO Dan Fazio says a recent hearing in Olympia addressed some of the claims brought by these persistent activist groups …

FAZIO … “Quite frankly, we call it the Farmworker Advocate “Industry.” They depend for their funding on sewing the story that farmworkers are abused and that everything is bad, etc., etc. And so, we say, you know, you’re entitled to your opinion, but here are the facts.”

One of the recent claims, Fazio says is that H-2A workers are taking jobs from domestic workers …

FAZIO … “That was another one of the claims of the Farmworker Advocate Industry, that there were all these U.S. workers who wanted the jobs, but they were being scared away by the farmers. So, the agency said that they had received 112 applications and that the vast majority of them were people that were not eligible to work.”

And all that, Fazio says was over one worker …

FAZIO … “That was another myth that was put to bed at this work session, or after the work session actually. We got follow up data that one person in 2021 was referred to a farm, of the 29,000 worker applications, and it did not result in a hire. So, there goes another myth.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the battle Ag employers are facing and how it impacts an already difficult labor market.

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