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COVID-19 compliance costly for Washington State potato growers, packers

In a recently completed survey by the IMPACT Center at Washington State University, it was found that Washington State farm families’ direct compliance outlays to manage COVID-10 were roughly $2,532 per month. Direct compliance outlays were found to be much higher for those businesses packing potatoes at $4,340 per month.

Potato growers and packers experienced losses keeping employees safe by distancing protocols, masks, cleaning and paying employees to stay home if experiencing any symptoms from COVID-19. Packers spent 49 hours and growers 17 hours per month managing COVID 19 compliance protocols. 

According to the findings of the study, the efforts spent appear to be working for both growers and packers in protecting the employees and operators from infection. The primary concerns of both remain employee health, but efficiency losses are the second largest concern for packers while the second largest concern for growers remains direct compliance costs.

Growers and packers were found to be more than concerned about employee health and liability when outside the safety controls on the farm or packing operation.

Source: Read the full press release in The Packer here
Photo: Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, and Washington State representative Mary Dye (R-Pomeroy) load a pickup truck for a free gift for potatoes at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Moses Lake, Washington, 2020. (Karen Ducey / for the Times, published by FR24News)

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