Emerald Family Farms will offer farmers a pay boost in 2019 to encourage them to stay on the payroll article Emerald family farms will offer a raise in wages next year to encourage farmers to stay in the field and to take more ownership of their land, according to a memo sent to staff this week.
In a memo obtained by Recode, the Oregon Department of Labor and Industries and the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) outline the proposed increase.
The memo says the increase in annual pay will be based on a formula that looks at the average annual pay for a full-time employee in each of the five fields that Emerald Family farms operate.
The department said it has already reviewed the memo and “we are confident this is in line with OLSE guidance.”
Emerald Family will provide a quarterly update on the pay raise as soon as it’s finalized, the memo said.
The Oregon Farm Bureau is one of several large farms in the country that have experienced wage growth over the past few years.
The Oregon Farmers Alliance, a trade group, has estimated that the average worker in the U.S. will earn about $30,000 per year, up about 20 percent since 2010.
But the labor department says many of the farms are still struggling with the impact of a changing labor market and a weak economy.
The farm bureau has said that for years it has offered pay raises for farmers and their employees.
But Emerald Family says that’s not enough.
Emerald Family CEO Steve Miller told Recode last year that the farm bureau should pay its workers more.
The farm bureau’s offer in the memo to staff was the second raise Emerald Family has offered in the past two years.
In its memo, the OLSE says it will be “working with” the state to find ways to increase the pay for workers in the five other fields that the farms operate and that Emerald will provide information on those offers.
Emeral Family is one farm that the labor departments has recommended for a raise because of labor standards.
Last year, the state said it was considering offering a pay raise to more than 5,000 farm workers in Oregon.