Due to a recent Maximum Residue Level (MRL) violation on an export shipment of celery to Japan, Western Growers cautions members to be mindful of pesticide/fungicide tolerances when shipping to Japan and any other countries.  While the U.S. may have established domestic tolerances on a particular pesticide/fungicide, other countries may have lower or zero tolerance levels  Such violations will not only place the individual shipper on enhanced surveillance, but in many cases, will increase the surveillance of the entire industry, especially when exporting to countries like Japan.

Ken Gilliland

It’s July 1, and as a result, Western Growers wants to remind members of two important changes that went into effect today.

There is  a new minimum wage in the state of California.  As of today, the minimum wage is now $9.00/hr. The increase is a result of legislation (AB 10) that was passed and signed by Governor Jerry Brown.  The minimum wage will again increase to $10/hr. on January 1, 2016.  A recent attempt to increase the minimum wage to $13/hr. was recently rejected by the Senate Labor Committee in the California State Assembly.

Additionally, as was previously covered in a Spotlight story, new farm labor contractor regulations put in place by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement also went into effect today. 

Jason Resnick

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that an $8.25-billion dollar California water bond due to be unveiled today in Sacramento at an Appropriations Committee hearing has been put on hold until Assembly members could come to agreement on more details before the bill is introduced publicly.  The compromise legislation represents the middle ground of proposals -- at least in terms of cost -- falling between Governor Jerry Brown’s $6-billion package and Sen. Lois Wolk’s $10.5 billion bond legislation.


Dave Puglia

Last Thursday, I participated on behalf of Western Growers in a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden in his office.  Now that the president has revealed Speaker Boehner’s decision not to allow a vote on the House floor on immigration reform, which he says is based on a lack of trust in the president, I can say that the vice president shared this with us last week.  Biden also said there would be administrative actions to reduce the adverse effects of that decision on workers currently in this country illegally.  He would not share what those actions would be, but emphasized they would respect the separation of powers by being clearly constitutional.

Wendy Fink-Weber


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