Avondale, PA – “Retailers are facing fresh mushroom shortages as producers struggle to find labor for their operations.
“Today’s acute labor shortages means many growers are struggling to harvest all of their mushrooms which usually produce three harvest cycles; many farms are currently not harvesting the third cycle and the impact is lower crop yield. In addition, the costs of labor, inputs, and raw materials are increasing rapidly, so mushroom growing continues to become much more expensive.
“Now more than ever we need our national labor strategy to be competitive.
“Demand for mushrooms isn’t waning—in fact, consumer demand is steadily increasing, especially as more restaurants and foodservice businesses begin to open and increase capacity.
“AMI has long pushed for legislation and policies that enable a legal, reliable workforce. Just this past March, H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed the House—it passed in 2019, as well—and is now awaiting introduction in the Senate. Among other provisions, the bill would establish a Certified Agricultural Worker status and open the H-2A temporary worker program to include the mushroom industry, which, unlike other produce, currently has no visa program for workers, since it is a year-round crop.
“We urge the Senate to quickly take up and pass the legislation to help align labor supply with consumer demand.”
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The American Mushroom Institute (AMI), headquartered in Avondale, Pennsylvania, is a national voluntary trade association representing the growers, processors and marketers of cultivated mushrooms in the United States and industry suppliers worldwide. For more information, visit www.americanmushroom.org