Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
In order to assess the labour requirements across the nation, AUSVEG, a pioneer in Australia’s vegetable and potato growing industry, is conducting studies in order to avoid the problem of labour shortage during the upcoming spring and summer harvests. This need for planning is required because the number of foreign workers has decreased due to the ban on international travelling. Moreover, this ban has simultaneously harmonized with the stricter restrictions on the movements of farm workers across the borders. This particular denial has snatched away a lot of workers from businesses during the busy harvest season.
AUSVEG CEO, James Whiteside, has stated growers need to become more proactive due to this shortage of labour. This needs to be carried out because the farm owners can then shield themselves against labour shortages. Moreover, the number of Working Holiday Makers and Season Workers has decreased to about 35 percent of what is expected. Nonetheless, these numbers are expected to dwindle even more. Mr Whiteside also opined that the strict border closure has aggravated the problem even further.
Thus, the need of the hour is frequent advertisements by farm owners in order to bring in workers at a grander scale. Furthermore, he also believes that the demand in the farming domain will be a lot greater than the labour that can actually be supplied. Hence, planning is essential to eradicate this looming problem. In fact, AUSVEG also recommends growers to complete an online survey developed by EY so that the labour requirements can be efficiently assessed. It is needless to say that this is a time that is difficult for those involved in the Australian agricultural world. However, farm owners must urge horticultural workers to overcome their struggles and participate in making the harvest season a success.