Labour

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'Fairer returns needed to offset increasing labour costs'

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Feb-03 Wed 11:15
2021-Feb-03 Wed 11:15
2899

An independent report by Andersons, commissioned by the NFU, concludes that unless growers see more sustainable farmgate prices they may be unable to mitigate the impact of rising costs. Some businesses may decide to stop trading or even consider relocating abroad. UK growers have seen labour costs…

Ontario to increase COVID inspections of greenhouses

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Feb-01 Mon 13:30
2021-Feb-01 Mon 13:30
2869

The Ontario government is taking additional measures to protect farmworkers during the pandemic by expanding provincewide inspections to farms, greenhouses and other agricultural operations to ensure health and safety measures are being followed. "Our government is taking action to protect essential…

Local workers applying as Queensland farmers are forced to up wages

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Feb-01 Mon 13:30
2021-Feb-01 Mon 13:30
2868

Due to the critical labour shortages, Queensland farmers are forced to pay higher wages and provide better conditions, in the hope to attract local workers. The improved conditions come amid warnings of higher prices for consumers as food is left unpicked. Bundaberg lychee grower Craig van Rooyen said…

Community co-operation saves crop in Canadian winter

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-28 Thu 10:00
2021-Jan-28 Thu 10:00
2835

Golden Eden Produce near Burr almost lost their tomatoes this season due to the cold snap – but with some community co-operation, the plants were saved. The greenhouse, which covers just under two-thirds of an acre, supplied 33 stores in Saskatchewan with produce in the 2020 year, and is a current…

📄 Study on how robotization of tomato production could enhance food security

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-28 Thu 10:00
2021-Jan-28 Thu 10:00
2834

The world is facing food insecurity problem due to shortage of workforce and growing world population. Robotization of crop production will help to boost food production, through effective labour conservation. This study was carried out to optimize the performance of tomato fruits' robotic harvesters,…

Greenhouse workers can be susceptible to developing musculoskeletal disorders

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-27 Wed 16:00
2021-Jan-27 Wed 16:00
2830

#Greenhouse workers can be susceptible to developing musculoskeletal disorders. Here's what operators can do to help prevent them. #ergonomics #workplace

greenhousecanada.com/relieving-the-…

@WSPS_NEWS @FCOGrowers @ONgreenhouseVeg @CdnAgHRCouncil @donpatten pic.twitter.com/8UqXdvsyov

 

Helping the food supply chain to find critical workers

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-18 Mon 09:11
2021-Jan-18 Mon 09:11
2748

The newly launched, Association of Labour Providers ‘Extra Workers Needed Portal’ supports the food supply chain to address critical worker shortages. A short demonstration video may be viewed here. Despite rising unemployment figures, ALP’s recent labour supply survey identified that 92% of food growers…

Victoria growers forced to dump $150,000 worth of celery due to labor shortage

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-15 Fri 06:16
2021-Jan-15 Fri 06:16
2728

Growers in Victoria's Lindenow Valley have had to dump $150,000 worth of celery crops. They were simply unable to harvest the vegetables due to a drastic shortage of seasonal workers. The crops have to be picked within a short timeframe to meet supermarket certification, but COVID-19 travel bans have led…

‘Farmers cannot afford to pay higher wages’

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-14 Thu 06:16
2021-Jan-14 Thu 06:16
2719

Farmworker wages could increase as much as 16,1% in 2021. This followed the National Minimum Wage Commission recommending in November 2020 that the minimum wage for farmworkers be aligned with the national minimum wage (NMW) in 2021, based on the argument that the agriculture sector was not as severely affected as other sectors by the COVID-19-related lockdown.

The NMW per hour was proposed to increase 1,5% above inflation to roughly R21,69.

Agricultural organisations, however, were opposing the recommendation. Henry Geldenhuys, president of TAU SA, called on government to set aside the NMW until the economy picked up as the ability of employers to maintain salaries was already severely affected before the lockdown.

"Robot labour will soon be available for passive greenhouse growers too"

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-14 Thu 06:16
2021-Jan-14 Thu 06:16
2714

For years, growers have been struggling with labour shortage. Even before COVID prevented seasonal labourers to work abroad, growers did not always have enough employees to get the job done. Employing a multi-functional robot instead would solve many of these problems. After all, robots can not only…

New COVID-19 travel rules could hurt Canada’s greenhouse vegetable industry

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-12 Tue 08:23
2021-Jan-12 Tue 08:23
2697

New COVID-19 testing requirements for travellers entering Canada could hinder more than would-be pandemic tourists. They could also leave tomato, pepper, and other greenhouse vegetable farmers in B.C. scrambling for workers. Temporary foreign workers, most of them from Mexico, are essential to B.C.'s…

Canada wants rapid COVID-19 testing for international greenhouse workers

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-06 Wed 08:45
2021-Jan-06 Wed 08:45
2659

The Federal Conservatives are asking the government to bring in a rapid testing pilot project for international workers that are needed in Canadian greenhouses. Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food Lianne Rood and Quebec MP Richard Lehoux have issued a joint statement where they say the current…

Australian fruit and vegetable growers warn of price rises due to labour shortages

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-04 Mon 13:30
2021-Jan-04 Mon 13:30
2643

Despite warnings of food shortages and price rises because of a severe shortage of workers, no state government has come to the table with a plan to bring foreign fruit pickers safely into Australia. Besides, just 355 unemployed Australians have joined the federal program that will see them reimbursed up…

"Cost and availability of labor, and now concerns about pathogen transmission will be the big issues in 2021"

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-24 Thu 11:15
2020-Dec-24 Thu 11:15
2610

It’s been a complicated year for many businesses in the fruit and vegetable sector. One of the big trends that became even more obvious during this pandemic was automation. We spoke Daniel Ghadiri (CTO & president) and Nick Maglio (marketing director) of ProEx Food, LLC about the challenges and chances…

Mexico might have to import labor due to the growth of its agricultural production

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-23 Wed 10:49
2020-Dec-23 Wed 10:49
2601

According to Victor Villalobos Arambula, the head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader), the implementation of the T-MEC Treaty between Mexico, the United States, and Canada and the rearrangements in the production of food caused by the pandemic will lead to a growth in Mexico's…

UK ministers to treble number of foreign fruit and veg pickers to counter harvesting problems

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-21 Mon 11:04
2020-Dec-21 Mon 11:04
2582

UK ministers are set to treble the number of foreign workers allowed into the country to pick fruit and vegetables, hoping to ease fears of rotting harvests as a result of Brexit. Some 30,000 temporary staff will be given permits in 2021, up from 10,000 this year, under a document circulated for an…

UK farmers turn to robots to plug labour shortages

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-21 Mon 11:04
2020-Dec-21 Mon 11:04
2576

The Financial Times reports that, as Christmas approaches at the Melrow nursery in Merseyside, north-west England, one worker wants no holiday, has no concerns about catching Covid-19 and is happy to work up to 23 hours a day plucking piccolo tomatoes. The Eagle robot, acquired by the nursery’s owner…

70 percent of US farm labor investigations record violations

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-21 Mon 11:03
2020-Dec-21 Mon 11:03
2573

According to data analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank, between 2000 and 2019, the federal Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) conducted more than 31,000 investigations of farm employers, and 70 percent of them detected violations. That led to employers…

Growers look to retain piece rate work despite union push for minimum wages

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-17 Thu 13:30
2020-Dec-17 Thu 13:30
2541

Australian growers are pushing back against union moves to see minimum wage rates granted to fruit pickers and seasonal workers. The Australian Workers' Union (AWU) announced on Wednesday that it would apply to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to have the horticulture award amended to ensure workers…

Growers mitigate labour pressures with efficient technology

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-11 Fri 11:15
2020-Dec-11 Fri 11:15
2472

Labour represents roughly one third of greenhouse growers ongoing costs, meaning that even a modest improvement can result in a big impact to bottom line performance. "With rising labour costs and Covid-19 related labour pressures, it is more important than ever to run a highly efficient business that…

Australia agrees to let seasonal workers in

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-11 Fri 11:15
2020-Dec-11 Fri 11:15
2468

Fruit farmers have been forced to destroy their crops or leave them to rot, given a severe labour hole blown open by the pandemic. The government estimates the industry requires an injection of 26,000 fruit pickersThe Prime Minister confirmed national cabinet had made a bilateral agreement to “unlock”…

National Lost Crop Register launched

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-11 Fri 11:15
2020-Dec-11 Fri 11:15
2466

A National Lost Crop Register enabling horticulture growers around Australia to anonymously record crops that have gone to waste because of a lack of seasonal labour. The National Farmers' Federation Horticulture Council says more than 30 growers have already reported crop losses, worth more than $22…

Australian fruit pickers face ‘outrageous’ exploitation

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-04 Fri 13:30
2020-Dec-04 Fri 13:30
2380

With backpackers and those on working holiday visas failed to turn up this year, mostly due to the pandemic, in effect so did a large part of Australia’s seasonal workforce. Lacking as many as 30,000 workers this season, some farmers may have little choice but to walk away from millions of dollars-worth…

📺 Fruit-picking robot might cover Goulburn Valley seasonal worker gap

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-30 Mon 11:14
2020-Nov-30 Mon 11:14
2291

Robot fruit picker ‘Clive’ will be working on two Goulburn Valley properties to see if it is a commercially viable alternative to human labour. The machine was built by Australian company Ripe Robotics. It will be put to the test in the orchards of Turnbull Brothers and HV McNab and Son, near Shepparton,…

📅 Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program: Additional Funding

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-26 Thu 13:42
2020-Nov-26 Thu 13:42
2267

On May 14, 2020 the ministry announced the launch of the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers.   The government has recently announced an additional $11.6 M in funding.

Many in the greenhouse made pro-active improvements to workplace safety in light of Covid-19, which is why the program accepts applications for changes made as far back as March 15, 2020.

The program has also been simplified to provide faster assistance by eliminating pre-approval. Growers can now submit eligible expenses up to the farm maximum ($7500). 

The program includes accommodation and/or transport costs related to outbreak prevention, as well as workplace modifications and purchases of personal protective equipment. More program details can be found below and on the OMAFRA website.