Oregon Leads the Way with Vineyard Worker Care

Oregon Leads the Way with Vineyard Worker Care

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Fulgencio

This year marks the 25th anniversary of ¡Salud!, an Oregon programme that provides vital healthcare services to seasonal vineyard workers and their families (see Alder’s recent column on Winegrowing in the wake of Trump about this vital aspect of American wine production). A record $911,300 was raised during the recent annual fundraising weekend 11-12 November.

The ¡Salud! auction took place the weekend after the US presidential election in the midst of a series of rampant protests that took over Portland, escalating by Friday to violence, filling downtown Portland and damaging property. The ¡Salud! festivities on Saturday carried an extra level of poignancy as a result. Attendees were not only well aware of the recent riots but also of the likely impact of the recent election results on the community ¡Salud! was designed to assist.

As with the rest of the United States, Oregon agriculture depends on migrant workers predominantly from Mexico. US policies that curtail immigrant labour have been shown to have a deep impact on the economic health of not only agricultural industries but also state economies more broadly. Alder’s recent report considered the likely impact on vineyard work in California under president-elect Trump’s proposed changes. Recent US history gives other examples as well.

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