NAPA, CA (April 15, 2020) – As the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic creates upheaval for communities across the state, Napa Valley farmers and vineyard managers are ensuring that working in agriculture remains one of the safest places to be.
As the growing season gets underway, growers are starting each day with briefings and reminders about health and safety. Early in the battle against COVID-19, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers developed a list of enhanced safety protocols for vineyard crews and winery workers. The publication was distributed in English and Spanish and was made available on NVG’s dedicated COVID-19 resources web page. These protocols are updated as the crisis evolves.
“We are committed to supporting growers through resources like our Best Practices protocol and regular, timely webinars explaining how to navigate through these challenging times. We have to always remember that people are our greatest resource, and that this is a community of agriculture. Ensuring that farming can safely continue is paramount to Napa’s ultimate recovery from this pandemic. Providing health and safety protocols, plus workshops that support businesses are the first steps”, said Jennifer Putnam, Executive Director for the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation.
An example of Napa growers going above and beyond to support their vineyard crews during the pandemic is Renteria Vineyard Management, which employs over 300 farmworkers. Brittany Pederson, Director of Viticulture for Renteria Vineyard Management, says the company is implementing all NVG safety protocols, which include additional handwashing stations and toilets, safe spacing between individuals (typically one vineyard row or 3 vines apart), staggered lunches, and regular check-ins to ensure everyone feels healthy. The company is also providing individual meals and water bottles. Pederson noted that her team members are eager to come to work, which allows them to support their families.
For more information about Napa Valley Grapegrowers resources, please refer to www.napagrowers.org
About the Napa Valley Grapegrowers
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers is a non-profit trade organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley’s reputation as a world-class viticultural region for 45 years. Its mission is to preserve and promote Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards. NVG represents 726 Napa County grape growers and associated businesses. Visit Napa Valley Grapegrowers and follow on Facebook and Instagram
About the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation
Founded by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers in 2011, the mission of the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation is to support and promote Napa Valley’s vineyard workers through education and professional development. The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation is the only one of its kind in the United States, providing educational opportunities, advanced training programs, leadership and management classes, English literacy programs, and much more. To date, the Farmworker Foundation has offered education and professional development opportunities to more than 21,000 vineyard workers and their families.