Growers are facing a multitude of threats, including chronic labor shortages and mounting regulatory and marketplace demands. Western Growers believes that harvest automation will be essential to helping growers adapt to these unprecedented challenges.

The Global Harvest Automation Initiative aims to automate 50 percent of the fresh produce harvest within 10 years through a series of projects involving growers, automation startups and key industry players.

Walt Duflock

President Biden recently shared his “Path Out of the Pandemic” memorandum, including the plan to task the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with drafting a rule to require vaccinations in the workforce known as the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). The ETS would require employers with over 100 employees to either ensure vaccination of all employees OR require unvaccinated employees to be tested at least weekly. Employers would also be required to provide paid time off for vaccination or related illness.

Jonathan Sarager

The keynote presentation at the 2021 Organic Grower Summit, presented by Western Growers and OPN, will be moderated by WG President and CEO Dave Puglia and feature panelists Keith Barnard, Senior Vice President of Sales and Sourcing, Mission Produce; Bianca Kaprielian, CEO and Co-owner, Fruit World; Mike Valpredo, President and Co-founder, Country Sweet Produce.

“Next Gen: A Conversation with the Next Generation of Organic Leaders” will explore how these young leaders see the landscape of organic fresh produce today. OGS will take place December 1-2 in Monterey, Calif.

Ann Donahue

Advances in technology have created new concerns for workplace privacy. Automated systems, email and instant messaging technology have helped employers reduce operating costs and increase efficiency. These systems have also increased the employer’s risk when it comes to protecting information shared during the employment relationship.


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