Labour

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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

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…

📄 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

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

#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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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…

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

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…

Australian fruit pickers face ‘outrageous’ exploitation

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

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

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

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.