Ensuring a Stable Workforce for Fresh Produce
Immigration reform is a top priority for United Fresh, as the most pressing challenge currently facing the agriculture industry is the ability to find a stable, legal workforce. United Fresh believes that immigration reform policies must address the unique labor needs of the agriculture industry, and warns that failure to do so makes fresh fruit and vegetable farms less competitive throughout the global marketplace and threatens the abundant, safe and affordable food supply that American consumers have come to enjoy.
United Fresh opposes mandatory E-Verify legislation without a solution that addresses current agricultural workforce and creates a new guest-worker program to meet future needs. United Fresh seeks a redesigned guest-worker visa program for future needs – NOT an exemption from mandatory E-Verify. Without first addressing agriculture’s labor crisis with a distinct solution that meets agriculture’s workforce needs, we believe that no amount of phase-in time is adequate.
AWC Washington Times Op-Ed (November 18, 2014)
AWC Testimony before House Subcommittee on Immigration & Border Security
Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform “Pitfalls and Perils
AWC Letter Opposing Mandatory E-Verify Only (May 22, 2015)
Congressional Letter Regarding Mandatory E-Verify Only (Mary 30, 2015)
H-2A Guest Worker Visa Program
United Fresh advocates for reforms to the nation’s temporary and seasonal guest worker program (commonly known as H-2A) because it has turned into a dysfunctional and bureaucratic nightmare for both workers and employers, supplying less than four percent of the workers needed on America’s farms and excluding farmers with year-round labor needs from participating.
As a founding member of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, United Fresh has been a leader in advocating for policies to effectively meet the labor needs of America’s fresh fruit and vegetable providers. As long as produce providers struggle to ensure they have the labor pool needed to harvest America’s fruits and vegetables, United Fresh will continue to vigorously advocate on their behalf.