A Letter to Our Community
Monterey and Santa Cruz County Fire Update
Driscoll’s and our independent growers across Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties continue to prioritize the health and safety of all of our workers and their families impacted by the California wildfires.
Driscoll’s headquarters is located in Watsonville, California which is also our community where our own direct employees live and work. The fire scenes and damaged areas are heartbreaking and concerning to us all. We are appreciative of the members of our community as we all come together to protect lives and property.
Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties are also important growing regions for many crops including lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and berries. Agriculture dominates the economy of the valley, and Salinas Valley is often called "the Salad Bowl of the World". The produce industry is working tirelessly to support essential workers and protect their health and safety.
Our independent growers in the impacted areas of the CA Wildfire are operating in strict compliance with Cal OSHA regulations, ensuring no one is being put into harm's way. The supply and distribution of the required N-95 mask as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been made available for all our impacted growing regions. Our growers are also vigilantly monitoring EPA’s Air Quality Index and providing training and education if PPE is required. Berries will not be harvested if conditions are unsafe.
Below is a resource link that includes all the required measures our enterprise has put in place to protect outdoor workers exposed to smoke from wildfires:
Additionally, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office provides helpful FAQs on the California wildfires:
All farmworkers in California are protected by labor laws, regardless of legal status. Wages are part of those rights and, depending on the type of agriculture work that is being done, the following orders do apply during the CA wildfires, and our independent growers are familiar with which order specifically applies to them.
California employers with any outdoor places of employment must also comply with the Heat Illness Prevention standard, California Code of Regulations. Responding to heat illness is critical, and there are several recommended pro-active steps to prevention. The California State Department of Industrial Relations provides a complete overview below: