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Produce, grocery, foodservice exempt from California ‘stay at home’ order

Coronavirus Update

The U.S. Department of Homeland confirmed March 19 that the food supply industry – including grocery, restaurant carry-out and delivery, fresh produce, distribution and inspection services – has a responsibility to maintain a normal work schedule.

Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a memo listing critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 emergency.

President Trump offered guidance earlier in the week, saying, “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

California produce doesn’t stop
California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order last night for all the state’s residents to “stay at home” to slow the spread of the virus. Essential services should remain open, including grocery stores and takeout and delivery restaurants.

Likewise, Newsom’s order said California residents in 16 critical sectors, including the food and agriculture industries, should continue working.

Earlier in the week the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement BB #:210653 said government audits are continuing through the crisis.

“We are asking auditors and members to take all precautions necessary,” said Scott Horsfall, CEO of the LGMA. “This is a rapidly changing situation, but when it comes to LGMA audits, they are expected to continue for the foreseeable future. If anything changes the LGMA will keep people updated.”

Western Growers BB #:144734 has made documents available to help fruit and vegetable grower-shippers to continue operating during the crisis, following “standards for the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce for human consumption.”


Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services