Thursday, October 7, 2010

Managing Migrant Labor Today

Gone are the days of recruiting a labor force for a day or season and settling up with them at the close of the pay period out by the truck.  Today's migrant labor are more in tune with worker rights, resources and even have government agencies mandating regulations to control the entire process from hire to harvest.  How does a grower or marketer manage the ever changing landscape and still run a profitable business?  How does a consumer or retailer assure that the produce they buy was part of good agricultural practices or social responsibility to the labor force used to harvest it?  Well, these and many other questions are things that we have pondered and discussed with growers, marketers, retailers and consumers for sometime now.  The solution is to adopt good technologies and processes that reduce labor cost, ensure compliance and streamline the overall operation.

Today there are systems such as HarvesterGear's Grower Solution that manage everything from worker setup, payroll, tax documents and even include the new PTI requirements.  By moving from a paper driven process to a computerized solution your documents are available online and backed up so your worker documents are available from year to year.  This also makes the worker setup process much easier since the workers documentation and information is stored in a centralized data center.  

Technologies are seemingly expensive on the front end, but good technologies pay for themselves quickly and continue to provide return on investment for many years to come.  Those operations that grasp and deploy technologies are more efficient and therefore compete better in the marketplace verses those who continue to operate business as usual.  With traceability on the horizon there is no better time then now to deploy technology solutions in your business!

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