January 14, 2021
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
UNIFIED WINE & GRAPE SYMPOSIUM
HEAR FROM EXPERTS
Our excellent lineup of speakers will provide you with a comprehensive overview of where the industry is today, what issues are shaping our future and innovative approaches to maximize your success.
 
ORDER YOUR TASTING KIT BY JAN. 18 
Panel: The World is Changing but the Varietals We Grow Haven’t. Are We Missing Out?
 
PROMOTE YOUR BRAND, GET HIGH VISIBILITY
Sponsorships and advertising are still available on our virtual platform and website, but they are going fast! 

For more information: contact Jenny Devine at jenny@cawg.org or (916) 379-8995.

COVID-19 NEWS
Vaccine for Ag Employees
With the availability of vaccine shots for ag workers on the horizon, CAWG is starting to get questions from growers: 
 
  • When will vaccines be available for ag workers in my community? 
  • Does this include winery workers? 
  • How will the state/county identify ag workers and determine eligibility for a vaccine? 
  • Where does an employer direct an employee to go to receive the vaccine? 
 
CAWG is working closely with several state agencies, in coordination with local health officials, as we seek answers to these questions. Those agencies are working diligently to make vaccines available as soon as possible and CAWG appreciates their efforts. 
 
Employers may want to reach out to local public health agencies, as several counties have plans for pilot programs for the ag workforce that may begin in the next two weeks. Please contact your local health office to see how you can immediately get plugged into local efforts.   
 
CAWG will share more information on vaccines in rural communities as soon as it becomes available.
Webinar: The COVID-19 Vaccine—How it Will Impact Your Workplace and Business Operations
WHEN: Friday, Jan. 22 / 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
HOSTS: CAWG and Wine Institute 
PRESENTER: Mark S. Goldstein, partner at Reed Smith LLP, will discuss legal issues related to the COVID-19 vaccine, including the permissibility of mandatory employee vaccination policies and other workplace issues triggered by the vaccine.

Paycheck Protection Program Reopens
The PPP reopened this week for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers, per an announcement by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Treasury Department. Another $284 billion to provide a second round of forgivable loans to small businesses was included in the end-of-year COVID relief plan. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19. We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.”

COVID-19 Resources and Articles
COVID-19.CA.GOV

>JAN. 13 COUNTY DATA:
Widespread (purple) = 54 (99.9% of CA population)
Substantial (red) = 3
Moderate (orange) = 1
Minimal (yellow) = 0

>JAN. 13 REGIONAL STAY HOME ORDERS
NorCal: No
Greater Sac: No / exited order on Jan. 12
Bay Area: Yes
SJV: Yes
SoCal: Yes


NEW
CDPH, Jan. 13

CAL/OSHA ETS LAWSUIT
CAWG’s Michael Miiller is quoted extensively.
Sacramento Business Journal, Jan. 12


CA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

CAWG 

CAWG eNEWS SPONSORS
With over 30 harvests, the G3 Ag Team has deep experience in winegrape hauling. Our operational expertise and agile planning combine to provide responsive service for wineries and grape growers large and small. Click on image or here to view video.
Providing the very best California crop insurance services.
NEWS ITEMS
Government Relations Report
2021 EMPLOYMENT POSTERS 
Every year, employers need to post new posters in break rooms and other common areas advising employees of their rights under federal and California law. Such posters would typically be available in the weeks prior to the new year. But in 2021, things have been slow because of the volume and complexity of new labor laws.   

Last year, the California Legislature created expansive  new leave laws. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) last week released its 2021 poster – Family Care and Medical Leave (CFRA Leave) and Pregnancy Disability Leave – reflecting those changes in law. The DFEH posters are available online

However, that is just one set of posters. There are also other posters required to address wage and hour issues, workplace safety and much more.

Because of the volume of poster requirements and the liability for the employer if the poster is not compliant, many ag employers utilize a poster available from Farm Employers Labor Service. The law firm of Fisher Phillips (CAWG associate member) and the California Chamber of Commerce also have posters available. CAWG works closely with all of these groups.

PROPOSED INCREASE IN PESTICIDE MILL ASSESSMENT 
As part of the 2021-22 proposed state budget, the Newsom administration is proposing a new strategy to “support the state’s transition to safer, sustainable pest management.” Within that strategy, the Department of Pesticide Regulation is proposing to replace the current flat-fee mill assessment on pesticide sales with a risk-based tiered mill assessment. 
 
The mill assessment is currently capped at 21 mills ($0.021/dollar) on the sales of all registered pesticides. The proposed tiered mill assessment would be based on a product’s “signal word” as determined by the U.S. EPA and would be phased in over four years resulting in the following mill fees being in place: 

  • Products without any signal word or a “caution” signal word: assessed at 26 mills. 
  • Products with a “warning” signal word: assessed at 40 mills.
  • Products with “danger” and “poison/danger” signal words: assessed at 45 mills. 

Once fully phased in by June 2024, the proposed tiered mill assessment would generate approximately $45 million in additional revenue annually. The proposed budget is in the early stages and CAWG is very engaged on this issue. The Legislature has until June 15 to approve a final 2021-22 state budget. 


AG PROVISIONS IN PROPOSED CA BUDGET 
In a Jan. 8 blog post, CDFA wrote about the Newsom administration’s proposed 2021-22 budget including “strategic investments to support California’s ag industry as it addresses continued challenges and rapid innovation while also advancing the state’s climate resilience objectives.” Proposed funding is earmarked for climate smart agriculture, water efficiency and sustainable  groundwater, pesticides, COVID-related relief, and more.


-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485
Bipartisan WHIP+ Reauthorization Act Reintroduced
After introducing the 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act in November 2020, a bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced it this week for the 117th Congress. The bill reactivates the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) for 2020 natural disasters, including wildfires. The WHIP program is a critical lifeline for growers whose winegrapes were impacted by smoke exposure. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Napa) led the legislative effort, along with original co-authors Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), and Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.).

CAWG is grateful for the strong support from Reps.  Thompson, Panetta and Lee, who are making sure winegrape growers get disaster aid to recover from 2020 wildfire-related impacts.



SVB State of the Wine Industry Report Provides 2021 Forecast
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) this week released its comprehensive State of the U.S. Wine Industry 2021 report (60 pages). It assesses current conditions in the wine industry and features 2021 predictions on price, sales channels, supply and demand. Three key takeaways from the report: improved demand from consumers, invest in e-commerce and digital strategies, and balanced harvest supply in the West. “Those wineries that evolved in 2020, were creative in their sales channels, and recognize the permanent societal changes that will impact the industry forever will be successful in meeting the anticipated demand post-vaccine and beyond,” SVB’s Rob McMillan said in a news release.

USDA Seeks Members for Urban Ag Advisory Committee
USDA is seeking applicants for a new 12-member advisory committee on urban agriculture. The committee will advise the ag secretary on the development of policies and outreach relating to urban, indoor and other emerging ag production practices, as well as identify any barriers to urban agriculture. Candidates can represent urban agriculture, agriculture using innovative technology, nonprofits, higher education, business and supply chain. Nominations are due by March 5.


WILDFIRE & WATER
Executive Order Establishes Wildland Fire Management Committee
President Trump today issued an executive order establishing the Wildland Fire Management Policy Committee and Interagency Wildland Fire Subcabinet to ensure federal agencies effectively work together on wildland fire management. Policies in the executive order include:

  • Improve coordination among agencies on wildland fire management policy, implementation and oversight issues.
  • Reduce unnecessary duplication across the federal government (councils, working groups, initiatives, etc.)
  • Efficiently and effectively manage preparedness resources, initial attack responses, extended attack and large fire support.
  • Promote integrated planning and procurement among agencies for federal investments in wildland fire management infrastructure.
  • Support workforce development and efforts to recruit, train and retain federal wildland firefighters.
Reservoir and Drought Conditions
>The latest reservoir conditions map shows most major reservoirs below historical average mark.

>As of Jan. 12, most of the state has severe to extreme drought conditions. Read a drought summary for the West and see statistics comparing current conditions with conditions at this time last year. 

CAWG FOUNDATION
Scholarship Apps Due March 5
Please share this information with your employees!

WHO: Students whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower.

WHAT: Four-year scholarships are $8,000 each for students attending a University of California or California State University campus. Two-year scholarships are $2,000 each for students attending a California community college. The Robert Miller Scholarship for Viticulture and Enology is awarded to a Central Coast student who is enrolled or will enroll at Allan Hancock College or Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

WHEN: Apply by March 5.


$494,500
Amount the foundation has awarded to students since the program started in 1998.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
CALENDAR
JANUARY

22 / Webinar: The COVID-19 Vaccine—How it Will Impact Your Workplace and Business Operations

26-29 / Unified Wine & Grape Symposium - virtual


APRIL

21 / CAWG Advocacy Day - virtual