Cherry Creek Systems is continuing our series in Growers Speak Out and are discussing the government policies in place that many horticulture professionals are dealing with while attempting to grow their greenhouse operation. According to GreenhouseGrower.com, many people in the horticulture industry have grown weary from the administration in the Obama years and might be feeling some optimism as our political climate changes. Let’s dive into it!
Trade policies in the horticulture industry
Trade policies have long been a standing issue for professionals in the horticulture industry. Many policies have been implemented to ease the transfer of products across borders, but there are still barriers. The investment in a transportation infrastructure has created as ease of transport for professionals that may not have otherwise had contact with each other. There is also a lot of pressure for countries to lower their regulations so they can compete in international markets. This allows for competition that might allow child labor in their production process, for example. There is also the issue of licensing being a barrier to entry. In some instances, licenses to grow and transport certain products may be a simple process, but depending on the product and the location of sales- licensing barriers may prove to be an enormous obstacle to overcome.
Taxes for greenhouse growers
Taxes are always a concern for any type of business. People have long criticized our complicated tax code, which overly taxes corporations at the top. Even though tax reform may come with the new administration, loopholes and deductions could end up hurting small businesses in the long run. With some states passing higher minimum wage laws this past election season, many greenhouse operators are struggling to comply with the rules and still turn a profit. Even with the agricultural exemption from overtime, this effects of raising minimum wage will be felt throughout the horticulture supply chain.
Greenhouse labor issues
Labor is one of the biggest obstacles that we at Cherry Creek Systems hope to alleviate in the greenhouse automation industry. Human labor will always be unpredictable and the laws governing how a horticulture business can operate, will be ever-changing. With President Trump’s outspoken opposition to immigration, many people in the horticulture industry are naturally feeling nervous. Immigration in all its forms- legal, illegal and temporary worker programs- play a large role in the labor pool for many greenhouse operations. Stricter laws surrounding immigration would have a detrimental effect on many growers throughout the nation. Many law-abiding greenhouse operations may even find themselves in the crossfire of stricter labor policies as an effect. Another barrier to greenhouse labor is with the strict regulations surrounding OSHA. Growers must be sure that they are within compliance for required worker training that must be provided in English and Spanish. This can create an additional cost that serves as a barrier to entry for some growers.
Even though these issues together may create a cause for concern, Cherry Creek Systems is optimistic about the future. There are so many innovations and changes happening within the industry and that is cause for excitement. While many growers do not have control over the rules and regulations set forth from the government, there are some things that we can control. Efficiency can happen within the greenhouse with the use of greenhouse automation solutions, sometimes eliminating the needs for excessive labor. The time and money saved by using greenhouse automation products from Cherry Creek Systems, will set your greenhouse up for success in the future. Please feel free to contact us with any of your greenhouse equipment needs!