As reported in Tuesday’s Spotlight, Western Growers and its members have been anticipating what the end of the government shutdown would mean to Arizona and California growers who are heavily dependent on H-2A workers to harvest winter vegetables.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will change the landscape of food safety in the produce industry for many Western Growers members and operations. Most of the changes will be born out of the companion rules for implementation that are currently under development.
America’s nearly four billion dollar winter vegetable harvest is in jeopardy. The Obama Administration needs to take immediate action to expedite pending foreign worker visa applications that have been stalled during the government shutdown.
As the country has been watching the government shutdown and debt ceiling situation escalate into a crisis, Western Growers and our membership have been trying to react to fallout from the shutdown. As a result of the government shutdown the Department of Labor (DOL ) has furloughed some 80+% of its staff including the staff that processes all H-2A applications.