retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times has a piece about how farmers in places like the Napa Valley are facing "an urgent shortage of workers. The flow of labor began drying up when President Obama tightened the border. Now President Trump is promising to deport more people, raid more companies and build a wall on the southern border ... Farmers are being forced to make difficult choices about whether to abandon some of the state’s hallmark fruits and vegetables, move operations abroad, import workers under a special visa or replace them altogether with machines."

The farmers who can afford it are improving wages and benefits, the story says, "but the raises and new perks have not tempted native-born Americans to leave their day jobs for the fields. Nine in 10 agriculture workers in California are still foreign born, and more than half are undocumented, according to a federal survey.

"Instead, companies growing high-value crops, like Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Napa, are luring employees from fields in places like Stockton that produce cheaper wine grapes or less profitable fruits and vegetables. Growers who can’t raise wages are losing their employees and dealing with it by mechanizing, downsizing or switching to less labor-intensive crops."

Fascinating piece about dramatic changes taking place on America's farms, which have the potential of creating a tsunami of changes in America's supermarkets and on consumers' tables. You can read it here.
KC's View:
I know people in the produce business who tell me that anyone who thinks that the wrong immigration policies won't affect food prices and supply are living in a bubble. Which is why I thought this article was worth reading.