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’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.