California Prune Industry Standing Together
Food & Agriculture has never been more important and together we are all an essential part of the supply chain that feeds and nourishes our communities around the globe. The California Prune Board is adapting to changes in daily operations as many in our industry are doing as well. We remain focused on staying nimble and providing information and resources that bridge continuity and being prepared for the future.
This page offers a variety of resources that will inform you about how to be best prepared in your operations as well as insight on what California Prunes is doing to pivot amid new updates each week.
Keeping Your Workers Safe
It is a critical time to protect your employees, especially if your crew is traveling from another worksite. Use the links below to stay informed of current health safety guidelines as well as future opportunities for reimbursements.
- Cal/OSHA announced that the emergency regulations to protect workers from COVID-19 are now in effect. See the FAQs and a one-page fact sheet on the regulation, as well as a model COVID-19 prevention program.
- The CDFA has compiled a list of free and up-to-date worker safety resources.
- This document can be posted and shared with employees and offers straightforward advice on how to prevent, educate, and respond to COVID-19.
- This document reinforces and broadens the education component by highlighting what actions have worked best in the field for farmworker education.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Employers and Essential Workers
Vaccination is one of the important tools to help stop the pandemic. The CDC has provided the enclosed information to keep you informed on COVID-19 vaccines and has answered questions for those who have concerns about getting the vaccine.
For Employers – Growers & Processors:
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): A COVID-19 vaccine FAQ from an employers’ perspective
- COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet: A plain-language fact sheet about the COVID-19 vaccine is available in English and Spanish
- Letter to Employees: Customize this letter about COVID-19 vaccination to send to your staff
Additionally, please see further guidance about COVID-19 vaccine considerations in the workplace provided by our communications agency, here. Please use the additional guidance according to your needs.
- What to Expect (English & Spanish): Quick facts about the COVID-19 vaccine, including what to expect while getting the vaccine and after.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Answers to common questions employees may have about the vaccination.
- Additional Information for People Worried about COVID-19 Vaccination: Additional questions you might have along with perspectives about rumors and myths that have circulated about the COVID-19 vaccine.
California’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan: This website shows California’s phased-approach to vaccination. The state is currently in Phase 1B Tier One (as of 1/29/21) that allows those working in food and agriculture to get vaccinated.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information by County
Safety Tips in English and Spanish
Throughout the state, the California Department of Public Health is offering new public education resources, specifically with the needs of the farmworker community in mind. The materials are available in both Spanish and English versions and are ready for download and distribution below.
Financial Relief Updates
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans beginning Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans beginning Wednesday, January 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility include:
- PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
- PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
- The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
- The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
- Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
- Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:
- Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
- Has no more than 300 employees; and
- Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.
The new guidance released includes:
Financial Help Resources
We are Here to Help
For specific questions or needs about navigating COVID-19 from a communications perspective. At all times – and especially now – please consider the California Prune Board team as a resource to you. We can discuss your specific situation, as well as connect you with other communications experts who can help as needed. Please reach Kiaran Locy at [email protected] to discuss tools, resources and support that may be helpful to you.
To that end, please download the Essential Employee Designation Letter templates (in English and Spanish) below for your use. You are welcome to adapt and share with your employees who may require proof of their essential employment status.
Please see the enclosed link to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Labor on COVID-19 prevention and control in agricultural settings (issued June 3, 2020).
COVID-19 Status and General Information
COVID-19 Global Updates
State and County Status and Resources
Labor Implications & Support
The following monitoring report archive offer a range of headlines about food, agriculture, and COVID-19.