WRRC is pleased to partner with the National Processed Raspberry Council on raspberry promotional activities. If you want raspberry recipes and health news, go to www.redrazzz.org.
Labor Issues of great concern to growers
Raspberry growers need to stay informed of the federal labor laws affecting our industry. The following links to the Federal Department of Labor outlines the laws and legal requirements you and your workers should be complying with. The berry commissions are sponsoring workshops on March 25 and 26 that will address both labor and food safety issues.
United States Department of Labor
Susan Langley of the US Department of Labor gave a presentation at the March 25 and 26 workshops with details growers need to know. Go here to see the presentation.
Berry farmers need to pay close attention to the implications of ANA LOPEZ DEMETRIO and FRANCISCO EUGENIO PAZ vs. SAKUMA BROTHERS FARMS INC., a case to be heard March 17th before the WA Supreme Court. A decision is expected by June. Advice from the WA Grower’s League regarding this case is:
For employees paid on a piece-rate basis:
Under current Washington State law, employees paid on a piece-rate basis are considered to have taken a break if they work at their own pace and they make at least the minimum wage for all hours when they are on the job, productive and non-productive.
- Put a clause in your business’s Workplace Policy Statement and MSPA Worker Information Notice that piecework pay is for all hours of work:
“I agree that I may be paid a piece rate. I understand that piece rates fluctuate throughout the crop year and harvest periods. I agree that piece rate is intended to compensate for all hours of work whether productive (piece-producing) or not, including rest breaks.”
You may pay for piece-rate breaks voluntarily by requiring employees paid on a piece-rate basis to take separate breaks, and to pay them for those breaks by adding pay on to the paycheck. Any paid breaks for piece-rate workers must be paid at the rate of at least the minimum wage. If the Supreme Court ruling goes against the defendants, the court may rule that the rate of pay for breaks taken by piece-rate workers may need to equal the average wage earned by the employee on a piece-rate basis, but the case has not yet been decided by the court and no set rate of pay for the additional piece-rate breaks have been decided.
For employees paid on an hourly basis:
Hourly employees are required to be offered paid rest breaks of 10 minutes for every 4 hours worked. Employees may request to have rest breaks waived so that they can finish work earlier.
- Encourage employees to take rest breaks. It may be a good policy to require that hourly employees take a break, even if they push hard for waivers.
- Encourage employees to report to management if they aren’t allowed a break by the foremen.
If your hourly employees push to waive breaks, and you agree to give the waiver, you should require a written and signed break waiver form from each employee.
2014 International Raspberry Organization (IRO)
The 2014 IRO was held in China in early May. WRRC President Jon Maberry represented the US along with NPRC Executive Director Tom Krugman. Go to the IRO site -- or chose a presentation from the following:
The next IRO will be held in Serbia in 2016.
Current additions to site.
Upcoming Commission Meetings in 2015:
April 8 ‐WRRC Board Meeting in Puyallup
September 9 ‐WRRC Board Meeting in Lynden
October 28 ‐WRRC Board Meeting in Lynden
December 3-4 ‐ WSU Small Fruit Workshop, Lynden Ag Show, WRRC Board. Meeting.
Infographic for raspberries
A graphic look at Whatcom County's popular varieties, plus top producing state and countries. Also the science behind harvesting.
Maximum Residue Limits for foreign markets
WRRC partners with other raspberry and blueberry organizations to track changes in MRLs in specific foreign markets. WRRC members can access the updated chart here.
National Roadmap for Red Raspberry Research, Teaching and Outreach Activities document
2014 Production of Red Raspberries
Click here to see the 2014 Red Raspberry Production Report.
Newsletters from the Commission
Links to past newsletters are listed on the archive page.
Washington Red Raspberries
Washington red raspberries are delicious and nutritious, packed full of ellagic acid, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, and produced on some of the most beautiful farmland in the United States. Washington accounts for nearly 95 percent of the U.S. production of processed red raspberries, at about 70,000,000 pounds per year.
The farmers who grow red raspberries, either for the market stand, grocery store shelves, or to be put in jam, jelly, or pies, are proud to offer you a clean, healthy product.
This site offers you information about the WRRC Board of Directors, the history of raspberries, the varieties being grown in the Pacific Northwest, production reports, what research the Commission has funded, and many other interesting facts about the industry that supports this wonderful fruit. In addition, you can find out about the most recent news concerning Washington raspberries, including newsletters, meeting schedule, and past events.
If you want raspberry recipes and health news, go to the Commission's consumer site www.redrazzz.org.