U.S. Apple Association: guest workers urgently needed

The U.S. Apple Association released a March 17, 2020 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressing deep concern about the suspension of regular visa processing at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City and other offices across the country. A large proportion of the total guest workers are needed in spring to prepare apple orchards.


Here are excerpts: 


 “While we were pleased to hear the Administration announce they will be prioritizing interview waiver cases, the State Department’s own data suggests that such workers eligible for waivers may only comprise a portion of workers employers need this season as evidenced by approved petition beneficiaries. Therefore, it is imperative that more be done. We agree that governments and the private sector must take all necessary precautions to reduce further transmission of the virus in our communities, however those steps must be proportional and reasonable.”


“The Food and Agriculture Sector remains critical at this trying time and must be able to continue to provide sustenance. As you know, many sectors within the agriculture industry are highly labour-intensive and especially dependent upon foreign labour, including the H-2A agricultural visa program, and other non-immigrant agricultural worker visas to meet labour needs. Like much of agriculture, the production for many of our crops is set to begin this month.” 


“An interruption to the processing of agricultural worker visas will undoubtedly cause a significant disruption to the U.S. food supply. As you know, the Food and Agriculture Sector, responsible for food manufacturing, processing, and storage facilities, accounts for one-fifth of the nation’s economic activity and has been designated a “Critical Infrastructure Sector” by the Department of Homeland Security.


“In order to ensure uninterrupted food, crop and commodity production, we urge you to recognize all H-2A, as well as any other non-immigrant visa petition involving an agricultural worker, visa consular processing functions as “essential” and direct the U.S. Consulates to treat all agricultural worker appointments as emergency visa services.”


Source: FreshPlaza.com

If latest news: 
Check if it is latest news (for "Latest News" page)
Publish date: 
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Click to leave a comment

For security purposes, please confirm you are not a robot!


Interpoma goes digital

Interpoma 2020, the international fair dedicated to apples in Bolzano, Italy, will be presented in a digital format November 19 and 20. 

Canada remains top market for U.S. exports

American fruit and vegetable growers sent a total of $3.5 billion of produce to Canada in 2019. Canada represents half of the country’s exports. 

McCain Foods delays Washington potato plant

The dominoes continue to fall as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. McCain Foods will pause its $300 million expansion of its processing plant in Othello, Washington. 

Asia Fruit Logistica reschedules to November

Turbulent times have forced the popular produce trade show to change venues from Hong Kong to Singapore. Now it’s rescheduling from September to November 18-20, 2020.   

American produce industry to receive $2.7 billion in aid

The American ag secretary Sonny Perdue has announced $2.7 billion to the fruit and vegetable industry to help mitigate losses from the COVID-19 emergency. Of that total, $100 million per month for the next six months are earmarked for a “Buy Fresh” program for food banks and school curbside pickup.