The labour shortage that has cropped up due to the pandemic is still taking a toll on the agricultural industry. According to Dobson’s estimates, they had lost around 13,500 boxes of bananas in the demolition and as much as $1.4 million in lost revenue for the year.
“But this is only the first block, there’ll be more that we have to knock out…so we’re looking at probably 30% of our total area,” Dobson told abc.net.au. It’s a big loss for the Dobson family’s crop but it’s not unique: every week the horticultural industry sees the ill effects of a dried-up workforce. The National Lost Crop Register topped $45 million earlier this year, as a result of labor shortages during the pandemic.
And sadly for the Dobson family, the hit came off the back of two difficult wet seasons, right after the family had invested millions on expanding the farm. This has left their business, Kimberley Produce, fighting for survival.