A diverse range of pickers have arrived in the Goulburn Valley to help with the annual harvest.CATHY WALKER January 7, 2014 12:00am
There’s little guesswork in Vaughan Adams’ job.
He just has to watch the weather reports or read the agricultural news to follow how the fruit season is progressing and he can pretty much sum up how busy the CVGT Australia Harvest Labour Office will be.
‘‘We have one contract for the Shepparton and Cobram regions,’’ Mr Adams said.
As the company’s manager for Shepparton his bailiwick is much broader than just looking after fruit pickers.
But he said the backpackers, grey nomads and travelling Australian pickers that CVGT helps find a job are as regular as the seasons.
Mr Adams said Harvest Labour Office was open from November until May.
‘‘There are still some apricots being picked but at the moment it’s the calm before the storm,’’ he said.
The cycle goes something like this: cherries in November/December, apricots December for early January, peaches and pears late January and February and apples from February through to the late variety, Pink Lady, in May.
‘‘The apricot crop has been okay, a bit down on last year but probably back to a more normal year,’’ Mr Adams said.
On any given day, people seeking work are encouraged to show up early in the morning — the office opens at 8.30
‘‘They’re not only internationals, but 95 per cent of the people that come through the harvest office are backpackers,’’ Mr Adams said.
‘‘There are grey nomads looking to top up their income and good local people following the (picking) trail.
‘‘Anyone is welcome to come in and register.’’
Mr Adams said the job service was government-subsidised and was free both to growers and pickers, and the heavy emphasis on internationals was to be expected.
‘‘They don’t have a network whereas the experienced pickers pick for the same farms every year.’’
He said from the growers’ perspective it was a no-brainer to use a labour provider.
‘‘Some farmers use labour hire contractors. The good thing about us is we are a central point and we don’t send anyone out without a visa check.’’
For the pickers, Mr Adams said ‘‘if they come through us at least they will be dealing with the farmer’’.
He said while they almost never had complaints from employees regarding payment by farmers, some contractors could be more problematic.
‘‘Some contractors take their slice out of the pickers’ wages and from the backpackers’ perspective they don’t know the good from the bad,’’ Mr Adams said, adding that CVGT also dealt with reputable labour contractors.
Shepparton police pursued two youths on foot near Waters Rd this afternoon.
The Mulwala Lions took a huge step forward in the race for the Murray League title with a hard fought, low scoring, 15 point win, against the fancied Barooga outfit, in near perfect conditions at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
Chelsea Campbell is excited with her new business venture, after purchasing Carol Taylor’s hairdressing salon in Hogan St.
The Echuca-Moama Border Raiders did not have much luck in Sunday’s Bendigo Amateur Soccer league cup encounter with Eaglehawk.
NATIONAL tree day came early for Rochester Secondary College with 16 students planting 350 trees in little more than an hour on Thursday.
Kyabram Pony Club say goodbye to old home
Seymour A-grade netball side has easy win at Rochester.
Berrigan Shire Council have approved a development application for six more independent living units to add to Berrigan’s Amaroo Self Care Unit block.
HEATHCOTE Park Raceway was back in action on Sunday with a surprise for those expecting owner Russell Clarke to be enjoying his retirement.
Dozens of birds of all shapes and sizes flew the coop as Cobram hosted its inaugural poultry auction last Sunday.
Neil Buckley has been inducted as president of the Deniliquin Lions for the next 12 months.
A new research project conducted by CSIRO is seeking to better understand the health properties of pears to help improve and develop market and marketing opportunities.
The Benalla Giants came out winners in both the under-14s and under-16s against the Benalla Bulldogs on the weekend.
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