Award-Winning Documentary Shows Uncertain Future For Farmers, Food Producers Feeding America

The award-winning documentary “The Last Harvest” released for free exclusively on Vimeo for a timely Thanksgiving message of appreciation and acknowledgment of the challenges facing those who grow and harvest our food. The documentary is now available for viewing by visiting www.vimeo.com/thelastharvest/film. This free screening [is still currently viewable on Vimeo].

Produced in 2019 and released at local film-festivals, “The Last Harvest” offers a rare glimpse into the hopes, hardships, and uncertain futures of three family growers and the lives of those harvesting food in the 21st century.  As the consumer demand for better-tasting, natural and sustainable food increases, we don’t often consider the challenges of those responsible for growing this food. Learn how immigration reform, an improved guest worker program, and innovation and collaboration can provide solutions. Essential workers continue to play a critical role throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the documentary raises awareness of the challenges and contributions to feeding America.

Greenhouse farmer. Image Credit - Zoe Schaeffer

Greenhouse farmer. Image Credit – Zoe Schaeffer

Soren Bjorn, Driscoll’s president of the Americas and a strategic advisor to the documentary, believes, “Driscoll’s will always be an advocate for immigrants and the farmworker community. They play a critical role in our nation’s most basic ability to feed ourselves. Let’s honor the hard work to feed America, keep our economy booming and meet the marketplace demand for healthy and delicious food.”

“For Americans’ food to continue to be grown in America, immigration reform is essential,” said Ali Noorani, president and CEO of the National Immigration Forum, a non-partisan advocacy organization. “It is past time for Congress to act on solutions that benefit American farmers and families by offering farmworkers the opportunity to earn legal status and eventual citizenship, as well as reform the H-2A agricultural visa program.”

“The Last Harvest” made its world premiere at the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival and later appeared in more than 30 film festivals around the U.S., including local screenings and several private screenings for policy makers. The film has numerous awards from festivals like the Los Angeles Film Awards, the Social Justice Film Festival, and the San Diego Latino Film Festival.

While Driscoll’s funded the documentary with the goal of showcasing authentic stories from their network of independent growers, creative freedom around the topic was given to Farm League, the film’s producers. Working together, they uncovered the issues contributing to the labor shortage and explored possible solutions to those challenges. Among those featured in the documentary is J. Miles Reiter, fourth-generation grower and son of one of Driscoll’s founders.

Heavy farming equipment. Image Credit - Greenhouse farmer. Image Credit - Zoe Schaeffer

Heavy farming equipment. Image Credit – Greenhouse farmer. Image Credit – Zoe Schaeffer

Viewers interested in supporting immigration reform can take action via the National Immigration Forum — urging Congress to provide a pathway to legalization for undocumented farmworkers and enhance the H-2A guestworker program.

An expanded distribution strategy for 2022 will include premiere releases on platforms like iTunes, Google Play and more.  In addition, a series of discussion panels lead by Food Tank, a Think Tank for food, will bring together thought leaders seeking) to create broader industry collaboration and support to meet the challenges facing the agricultural industry today.

Banner Image: Last Harvest Documentary Cover. Image Credit – The Produce News 

The Produce News

Covering Fresh Produce Around the Globe Since 1897

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