Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Ag employers often find themselves the target of finger pointing activist groups trying to paint them as the bad guys, like last year after two workers died of COVID.

WAFLA CEO Dan Fazio says that was tragic …

FAZIO … “About those deaths, we’re not running away from it. There were two deaths of workers in the Brewster, Washington area, and everyone that was following this knows that there was a rampant outbreak in the town of Brewster.”

And since that outbreak, Fazio says they’ve had a lot of help …

FAZIO ... “We’re just thankful that the agencies and

the NGO’s, the Non-Governmental Organizations, like Medical Teams International, we thank them, you know, so much for cooperating. We feel that, you know, we’ve got to get the agencies on board and stop assuming that farmers are bad guys and let’s be a little bit more sensible with the regulations.”

And that, Fazio says will be crucial for the industry …

FAZIO … “The regulations are stifling our ability to do anything. Quite frankly, what it’s resulting in is large companies are outsourcing agriculture from the U.S.”

The Farmworker Advocate “Industry,” Fazio says needs to know that …

FAZIO … “They’re doing the right thing as far as they are concerned for their shareholders, but we know, for example, that we grow a lot of blueberries in Washington state and they’re moving the blueberry crop to Mexico because they don’t have the labor regulations there. And that’s a sin because we grow the best blueberries in the world in Washington and Oregon.”

Fazio says it’s a well-regulated system that must be allowed to do what they’ve done so well for so many years.

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