Grapes, including raisins, are the third largest crop in California grossing almost $6 billion in 2014. To harvest the labor intensive crop it takes thousands of workers. But as Ezra David Romero reports a new raisin grape variety bred in Central California could severely decrease that need for workers.
It takes a lot of hand labor to harvest raisins, three or more rounds of pruning, quality control and picking. And to pay those workers costs a lot of money. That’s why the raisin industry is desperately searching for a way to spend less on labor creating a larger profit margin.