Queensland fruit farmers are currently facing a shortage of fruit pickers. The employers claimed that they have plenty of work available for the young Aussies, along with an attractive weekly salary.
- The growers face a shortage of fruit picking employees.
- Rachel Mackenzie mentioned labor shortage as a severe problem.
- Gavin Scurr tried to clear the misconceptions on fruit picking employees.
- Orchardist guy Geata claimed that the Christmas fruit would be more expensive.
Queensland farmers face a chronic shortage of fruit picking workers even though they are paying an attractive salary of $3800 per week. (News Source news.com.au)
The employers are offering a handsome wage as the fruits are rotting on the ground. In the same context, Rachel Mackenzie opened up about the labor shortage. He explained that the labor shortage is a severe problem. The backpacker population has also reduced by 60% in the current months.
Likewise, during a talk with Courier-Mail, Piaata Farms‘ managing director, Gavin Scurr, tried to clear the misconceptions about fruit picking, mainly focusing on its wage. In the discussion, he explained that many people claimed fruit picking provides low wages, which is entirely not true.
We recently paid a worker $3800 for a week’s work lately, and that is a top picker working six days a week, probably around ten hours a day, but even when you look at it as an hourly rate, that is pretty good.
Mr. Scurr went on to explain that the fruit picking job can be challenging, but when done with the right attitude, it is always fun.
Scurr claimed that earning $3000 per week is not unusual for the employees. He furthermore explained that the gun fruit pickers’ working conditions are often flexible. So, the workers might work a certain number of hours per day or might want to work only two or three days per week.
Scurr claimed that the right attitude of the employee keeps them in high demand among employers. Explaining about the employee’s condition, Scurr claimed that some workers only last for one day. Now, the managing director destroyed a particular portion of his crop due to the lack of labor.
Well, Mr. Scurr is not the only one to suffer. Many farmers across Australia currently face the same heartbreak.
Orchardist guy Geata grows cherries outside of Orange. He also opened up about the labor shortage during the pandemic even though the cherry pickers are promised to pay $400 a day. Geata admitted that they need around 70 people in December, but is not confident enough. Discussing more the labor shortage, he claimed that the Christmas fruit would be more expensive.
Back in August, NSW Agriculture minister Adam Marshall encouraged Australians to take up farm jobs as the producers are struggling to find overseas workers. He admitted that it was hard to find Australian food pickers.
In the end, Mr. Marshall expressed his concern over the change of mindset.
The Telegram investigation over different platforms and media share different stories.
David Inderias, the CEO of Fresh Supply Co and executive chairman of APAC Council, tweeted the news warning on how it would affect the pricing and supply.
— David Inderias (@d_inderias) September 6, 2020
A Twitter handle, yarramanbully, Rhonda Fay Hall explained how the Queensland fruit farmers are gaining access to permit to shoot hundreds of flying foxes.
Yes I am with you there and not to mention (know you are so kind and busy with Macropods) Queensland Fruit Farmers seem to gain access to permits to shoot hundreds of Flying Fox during *Lychee * and *Mango* Season every year .🦇🦇🦇
— Rhonda Faye Hall (@yarramanbully) August 5, 2020
The deputy news editor of Guardian Australia, Patrick Keneally, also tweeted regarding the wages of fruit pickers. In the tweet, he debated claiming that the job is exhausting and poorly paid. He said: The truth is that no-one earns anywhere near this.
If I could earn $3,800 a week (about $70 an hour) picking fruit I would take some time off my day job and head to the nearest farm … the truth is that no-one earns anywhere near this. It is poorly paid, exhausting work. https://t.co/CUCRs7ym2P via @newscomauHQ
— Patrick Keneally (@patrickkeneally) September 6, 2020
ABC Brisbane mentioned Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing of funding $1 million to assist strawberry farmers in Queensland.
A $1 million fund to assist strawberry farmers in Queensland has been announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in the wake of deliberate contamination with needles in punnets of the fruit across the nation.https://t.co/Yt3aprAX9H pic.twitter.com/gOJf8jTxsj
— ABC Brisbane (@abcbrisbane) September 18, 2018
Similarly, RN Breakfast discussed of Queensland strawberry growers calling an inquiry behind the chronic oversupply of fruit. They also tweeted warnings of the farmers being forced to close their doors.
Queensland strawberry growers are calling for an inquiry into what's behind a chronic oversupply of fruit in the market amid warnings that some farmers could be forced to close their doors this season.https://t.co/T0UMuGMqv2
— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) August 28, 2018
Despite rising unemployment due to pandemic COVID-19 and its restriction, the farmers fear a shortage of fruit pickers. Unemployment is expected to reach 10%. Deputy Nationals Leader David Littleproud along with his Cabinet colleagues are working on finding solutions to the worker shortage.