California Fresh Produce Growers Suffer a Labor Crisis Part 2

California Fresh Produce Growers Suffer a Labor Crisis Part 2

Welcome back to our discussion on the issue of farm labor shortages in the fresh produce sector. The fresh produce industry has struggled to obtain a sufficient amount of farm labor for a long time, and unlike other crops, fresh produce still requires humans, and lots of them, to harvest delicate fruits and vegetables.

Texas native Bret Erickson, Little Bear Produce Executive Vice President, joins us again to talk about the effects this shortage could have on the consumer.

“If we don't have labor, it's going to impact you by driving up the cost of your fresh produce and the availability of your fresh produce. You're not going to be able to get everything that you're used to seeing because we're not going to have the labor. And from a broad perspective as a population, the United States should be very concerned about nutrition security and where our food is coming from because currently the rise in imports is happening drastically. And producers in the United States are struggling to stay in business and closing up shops.”

Erickson says the Farm Workforce Modernization Act would help.

“We need help on this. This is the biggest threat to our business and to our livelihoods, is being able to secure the labor. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act has already been passed out of the House. It is now on the Senate side being worked on by Senators Crapo and Bennett. It needs to be put forward for a vote, and we need our Senators to support American fruit and vegetable producers and pass that bill.”

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