( Wonderful Company )

Starting Jan. 1, the Wonderful Company, Los Angeles, Calif., said it will raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for full-time California employees.

That is a 36% increase in pay for those making the current state-mandated minimum wage, according to a news release.

“Our dedicated and hard-working employees are our greatest asset, and the reason for our tremendous success as a company,” Stewart Resnick, chairman and president of The Wonderful Company, said in the release. “This move firmly positions The Wonderful Company as the employer of choice in California’s Central Valley, and we encourage others in the agriculture industry to follow our lead.”

The increase, according to the release, comes three years before California state law will require all large employers to meet a $15 per hour minimum wage. The wage bump, according to the company, represents an $80 million investment benefiting workers across Wonderful Citrus, Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds, Wonderful Orchards, Wonderful Nurseries, POM Wonderful, JUSTIN Wines and Landmark Wines. 

“This substantial investment in our workers will have an immediate and meaningful impact on their lives,” Lynda Resnick, vice chair and co-owner of the company, said in the release. “In addition to providing our Central Valley employees and their families free health care and education, we are now able to help them achieve a significantly improved standard of living.”