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.
A fire has destroyed a home in Kialla West.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
Tatura Fire Brigade volunteers are gearing up for a busy summer period this year.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
OUR Lady of the Sacred Heart Elmore was a sea of colour earlier this month for Footy Colours Day.
THE Salvation Army in Kyabram is this weekend celebrating 125 years of service in the district.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
When Pyalong Primary School does something, it does it well. Here are the students all dressed up for the school's recent Roald Dahl day to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth on September 13, 1916.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
Skipper claims second B&F in thrilling count
Tuesday, August 16
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
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.