In these unprecedented times, we have created this resource to help pistachio growers and processors address commonly asked questions and the resources that are available to help keep your farm and business informed.
CDFA COVID-19 Guidance for Ag
COVID-19 Awareness for Agriculture offers straightforward advice on how to prevent, educate and respond to COVID-19. Prevention includes wearing a mask, cleaning and sanitizing frequently, and maintaining physical distance – including keeping everyone healthy by limiting visitors. Education includes staying up to date on the best prevention measures and sharing that information with California’s agriculture workforce in a way that is easy to understand and can be applied and reinforced at work and at home. Responses include knowing what to do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19, who to contact, and how employers can help support employees.
TIPS: Educating Farmworkers on COVID-19 reinforces and broadens the education component by highlighting what actions have worked best in the field for farmworker education. CDFA is distributing these flyers to division/program contacts, CDFA marketing boards and commissions, affiliated associations, county agricultural commissioners and others. CDFA field staff also will carry copies.
CDC Guidance for Ag Workers
COVID-19 has changed the landscape of businesses in every industry. Agriculture, which already abided by high food-safety standards prior to the pandemic, is doing its part and increasing sanitation procedures even beyond those standards. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a webpage dedicated to providing guidance for agricultural employers who have remained in operation or are in the process of re-opening or broadening their operations. Additionally, the CDC has provided an Agricultural Employer Checklist for creating a COVID-19 assessment and control plan. All pistachio growers and processors are encouraged to check out the guidance that the CDC and other government agencies have provided.
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
As part of USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), agricultural producers who have experienced a loss are expected to receive direct payments from USDA. Information on program specifics can be found at farmers.gov/cfap.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package, was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump at the end of March. Within the legislation, $9.5 billion was included to assist specialty crop producers; producers who support local food systems such as farmers’ markets, schools, and restaurants; and livestock producers, including dairy.
CalOSHA Guidance for Ag
The California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety & Health (CalOSHA) has released a safety and health guidance document for agricultural employers. The document contains information, recommendations, and requirements for agricultural employers on how to update their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP) to include preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Since agriculture is considered an essential service in California, it is important that employers who still have employees coming into the workplace take appropriate precautions. View the CalOSHA Guidance here.
CARES ACT: Paycheck Protection Program Provides
Small Business Loans to Support Employees
The CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program provides loans targeted to small businesses to help keep their workers employed during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and offers loan forgiveness to borrowers maintaining a high percentage of employees on payroll. This LawFlash provides the latest developments in PPP loan availability, eligibility, and forgiveness, as well as a comprehensive overview of the PPP and related guidance. View full article here