Australian horticultural groups have called on the government to weed out “rogue” labor hire companies that take advantage of workers, emphasizing the need for an official entry scheme for low skilled migrant labor.
“It’s so hard to bring in workers from abroad, and what happens when they do it legally? They get punished.” One industry insider says this is the true story behind a farm labor battle raging in Washington State.
The palpable buzz around an anthocyanin-rich Queensland-bred plum is spreading internationally, with a French nursery upbeat for commercial harvests and U.S. growers playing their cards close to their chests.
New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry has seen dissent in the ranks after around NZ$500,000 was spent on a recent buyer visit, but Zespri claims it was necessary to boost sales of a rising gold variety crop.
The head of the Australian Banana Growers’ Council says although the detection of Panama Disease Tropical Race 4 is a ‘substantial challenge’, he is confident it’s one the industry can successfully meet.
The head of Europe’s largest fresh produce distributor says a prolonged Russian import ban would lead to structural changes, but is upbeat about prospects for berries, organics and exotics in Mediterranean markets.
Although no U.S. retailers have yet been invited to join a newly formed social responsibility alliance in Mexico, Wal-mart has pledged its support and has made several key changes since a damning LA Times investigation.
The Pacific Maritime Association says it cannot justify paying union workers premium rates over the upcoming weekend and holidays, while the union says the employers’ actions are “bad for the industry and the U.S. economy.”
Chiquita has accused one lawyer, whose firm has provided security to witnesses under threat in the past in other cases, of allegedly paying off witnesses. Whether this is a delay tactic or a case-changing argument is yet to be seen.
U.S. customs broker J&K Fresh says the U.S. port situation is ‘almost worse than if they were striking’ due to the uncertainty, while the Global Reefers head says he’s never seen anything like this on the West Coast.