By Evan Henerson
Pay your workers a higher salary and you’ll get more people wanting to join your company. Yeah, we were floored by that one, too. The sharpest economic minds would never have predicted anything so revolutionary.
Leave it Christopher Ranch in Gilroy, the largest fresh garlic producer in the nation (save your odor jokes) to figure out how to solve its worker shortage. The company announced it would raise its pay for farmworkers from $11 an hour to $13 this year (an 18% increase) and then to $15 per hour in 2018.
And voila! Weeks after the announcement, a company that was short the 50 workers needed to pick, package and roast the garlic started getting flooded with applications. Now the waiting list for positions is 150 deep with some workers offering to commute up to two hours to and from the farm, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.
Growers might want to take a page from Christopher Ranch’s playbook especially considering the drop off in farm labor since the Obama administration stepped up its border control efforts and deported millions of undocumented workers. Not that things figure to get much better under our wall-building POTUS.
The Times article also cites studies that show that a thriving Mexican economy is reducing the supply of farmworkers. From 1980 to 2010, the total supply of farm laborers in Mexico declined by 150,000 workers every year, according to a study from researchers at Montana State University and UC Davis.
“Kids aren’t growing up in rural Mexico to be farmworkers the way they once were,” researcher Edward Taylor told the Times.
Read the full article here.