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How will Organic Maintain a Strong Labor Force? Find out at the 2019 CCOF Annual Meeting and Conference

by Shawna Rodgers |
California Harvesters, Inc.

On February 26 and 27, hundreds of CCOF members will meet in Fresno, California for the 2019 CCOF Annual Meeting & Conference. In addition to bidding farewell to retired CEO, Cathy Calfo; welcoming CCOF’s new CEO, Kelly Damewood; and celebrating the work of the CCOF Foundation; participants will come together to discuss the latest opportunities and issues facing organic. One area that will be discussed is the need to maintain a strong organic labor force. 

CCOF will joined by Sara Neagu-Reed of the California Farm Bureau Federation, Jenny Ramirez of California Harvesters, Inc., and Kenton Harmer of the Equitable Food Initiative. With Matt Rogers of AgSocio moderating, audience members are in for a powerful conversation about how to transform the landscape of agricultural labor in California and beyond. 

Neagu-Reed, associate director in the Federal Policy division of the California Farm Bureau Foundation, explains, “The California Farm Bureau Federation is a nonprofit organization of farmers and ranchers consisting of county Farm Bureaus from nearly every county in California, established in 1919 to work for the betterment of family farmers and ranchers in California. We are deeply committed to our mission, which is to improve the well-being and quality of life for California farmers and ranchers. We do this through advocacy, ongoing outreach, and economic services and products for those involved in agricultural production.” 

Jenny Ramirez, director of human resources for California Harvesters, Inc., says that the California Harvesters Initiative “recognizes that there are problems in California’s farm labor system. Growers suffer from an industry-wide labor shortage and low retention of workers knowledgeable in their crops, while farmworkers are limited to existing low-wage jobs with little opportunity for upward mobility. CHI addresses these issues by providing higher wages, access to year-round work, valuable training, and leadership opportunities.” 

Kenton Harmer, director of certification at the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI), explains that “EFI was created as a non-profit social enterprise to transform agriculture through farmworker engagement. We believe that if the workforce is properly trained and incentivized to collaborate with management in developing a safe, stable and dignified working environment, then new value is created for growers and buyers.”

Get more details about the event agenda and who will be speaking. 

Space is limited. Reserve your seat for the 2019 CCOF Annual Meeting & Conference today!