NZ farmers prepare as closed borders disrupt harvest

With the harvest season set to start for the horticulture sector in the top of the South Island,  growers farmers are faced with staff shortages due to closed borders. It is estimated the region needs 1500 more staff across all kinds of industries.

There is the Pick Nelson Tasman campaign, funded by industry contributions along with contributions from the Ministry of Social Development and the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency, which aims to attract people to the region and connect them with jobs ahead of the harvest. The project is a collaboration between 15 agencies, including Apples & Pears New Zealand, Horticulture NZ, Hops NZ, Freestyle Hops, Wine Nelson, Kiwifruit NZ, Vegetables NZ in a bid to tackle the ongoing seasonal labor challenges faced by businesses.

Project spokesman Johny O'Donnell: "We have a really, really high seasonal demand that could never be met by locals, even if every job seeker in the region went back to work and so we're putting the call out that if anyone has been displaced from work due to Covid-19 if they are in between jobs or looking for the dream job but need a job in between, then there are literally hundreds of job opportunities available right now here in the region."


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