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Labor-Intensive U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Industry Competes in a Global Market


  • Calvin, Linda
  • Martin, Philip L.


The U.S. fruit and vegetable industry is labor intensive, pays higher wages than are paid in many other countries, and increasingly operates in a global economy. U.S. fruit and vegetable farms rely on seasonal workers who are likely to be unauthorized immigrants; any future immigration reform could reduce the supply of labor or raise wages. Fruit and vegetable growers may respond to any potential wage increases by reducing the number of seasonal workers employed, adopting mechanized harvesters or other labor-saving technologies in the field, or reducing production.

Suggested Citation

  • Calvin, Linda & Martin, Philip L., 2010. "Labor-Intensive U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Industry Competes in a Global Market," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersaw:121429

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