I don’t think any of us could possibly forecast how fast things have changed in the last couple of weeks! Your team here at CCM, which includes our teams on the ground in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, has been working continuously to ensure your ability to continue fulfilling your essential role during the COVID-19 outbreak. Today marks a milestone as the President signed the largest stimulus package ever in an attempt to keep the economy from sinking further. A quick fact sheet is available here and on our resources page.
Through it all, we’ve navigated H2A processing, patchwork county ordinances, new health and safety guidance, new sick leave requirements, and ensuring that the entire food chain was defined as essential businesses at both the Federal and State levels. We’ve been at the forefront of communicating with our elected officials about the good work all of you are doing out in the field to provide healthy citrus and to protect your employees.
As a staff, we’ve tried to provide you with critical information while also attempting to avoid cluttering your inbox. We’ll be taking a deeper dive into our resource page to provide quick summaries and FAQ’s on the questions that many of you are having. We’ll also be providing the membership access to free webinars from AgSafe and The Saqui Law Group next week that will provide the latest guidance on implementing the paid sick leave requirements and employee safety. More on those coming soon.
There is a lot of good news and success stories along the way; there is a lot more work to do. As an industry, first and foremost, we must stay vigilant in continuing to find ways to protect our employees. We’ve issued guidance on what to do in the event of a positive test, but prevention is the best medicine. An outbreak could completely stop production at a packing house and create an opportunity for activist groups to mislead the media and our elected officials here in California. This will be even more difficult in the next few weeks as supplies of masks and sanitation equipment dwindle. We will have to get creative in providing whatever protection or physical barriers we can, in addition to increased handwashing and physical distancing.
This COVID-19 situation may be different than we’ve all experienced before, but I have no doubt you all will continue to rise to the challenge! It’s what agriculture has always done and what makes this industry special. Thank you all for allowing us here at CCM to be a part of it with you. Have a great weekend!