The Last Harvest
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers and resources to questions that may arise after watching the film. For further inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about legislation surrounding immigration, please visit The National Conference of State Legislatures website – a bipartisan non-governmental organization that serves members and staff of the state legislatures.
As members of United Fresh, Driscoll’s supports the U.S. bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act as one step to reform our broken immigration system and help build a legal and reliable work force. To take action, contact your member of congress today and ask them to support this bill. Click here for more information: https://www.unitedfresh.org/advocacy/workforce/
No. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) made it unlawful for employers to hire or employ individuals not authorized to work in the United States. Since that time, employers have been required to use the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Form I-9, which is completed by job applicants who submit the form to employers with specified documents that testify to their identity and work authorization. IRCA, however, prohibits employers from questioning the documents offered by applicants, and any employer who questions the documents offered by job applicants or refuses to hire based on reasonable-appearing documents can be sued, not only by the job applicant, but also by the Department of Justice.
The hourly wage of farm workers in California has continued to grow over the past two decades according to an article in the LA Times. In 2017, according to the USDA, farm workers are earning $12.30 which is $1.30 higher than California’s minimum wage which is currently at $11/hour. Driscoll’s and its growers are committed to abiding by federal and state regulations but are also committed to pay workers sufficient income. They will continue to evaluate needs according to region to ensure they are staying true to that commitment.
Hourly wages are growing and California legislation is raising minimum wage to $15/hour by 2023. Since California is one of the largest agricultural regions in the country, this has huge implications for farm worker pay. Despite growing wages, labor shortage is still a problem for the agricultural industry according to an article in the LA Times. Raising pay may be a short-term solution to get a slight influx in workers but doesn’t solve a systemic issue. We must find long-term solutions, such as an improved guest worker visa program and immigration reform policy, that won’t adversely affect the cost of farming for the agricultural community and the price of produce for consumers.
To focus the message and address issues like immigration control, Driscoll’s and the producers decided to only include domestic growers.
Driscoll’s is a family-owned and operated business that works with a network of over 700 independent growers to grow blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Driscoll’s specializes in developing proprietary varieties that are handed off to the farms for commercial production. Once the berries are ready, they are packed under the Driscoll’s label. 80% of the revenue from sales under the Driscoll’s label is sent back to the growers to invest in their farms and workforce. To learn more about how Driscoll’s grows its berries, click here. To meet more of Driscoll’s growers, click here.
The Last Harvest was funded by Driscoll’s to showcase stories from our growers, but creative freedom around the topic was given to the producers, Farm League. Farm League and Driscoll’s worked together to craft the story, so it uncovers the issues contributing to the labor shortage and explores possible solutions to overcoming the challenge.
Although the independent growers are responsible for employment of their workforce, Driscoll’s takes responsibility for how all are treated within our enterprise. Workers have the right to be treated with respect and to work in a clean and healthy environment. Although employment within the Driscoll's system provides income opportunities that meet or exceed the local standards, Driscoll’s is constantly seeking opportunities to go even further. To learn more about their worker welfare standards and how they work with communities to assess needs and enrich lives in the regions we grow, please click here.