Following 2020’s unprecedented year of challenges for the fresh produce industry, January 2021 is already reporting similar challenges for some growers. Last week’s article in Horti Daily reported that growers in Victoria’s Lindenow Valley, Australia 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. As with last year, COVID-19 travel bans have led to a drastic shortage of backpackers and pickers from the Pacific Islands which mean that picking and packing the crop became impossible. You can read the full story here.
“We really do rely on our seasonal workers and at this stage the Victorian government seems to be blocking any discussion about quarantining our seasonal workers in regional areas,” Australian Vegetable and Potato industry chair Bill Bulmer told abc.net.au. “It’s a sad statement to say, but with JobSeeker and JobKeeper the locals don’t seem to want to take up the manual labour.”
With travel restrictions still in place across the globe, it is a situation that could be repeated across the 2021 harvests of many countries.
Reduce your labour requirements
Having the ability to reduce your reliance on manual labour for the packing process has become all the more important over the past 12 months. Our latest Yield Control Module (YCM) packing solutions can reduce packing labour by up to 50%, whilst reducing unnecessary giveaway and increasing the profit from your harvest.
Our latest software also includes our Covid-19 Track & Control, a feature that manages operator bubbles and allows you to minimise disruption to your business.
Drawing on over three decades of experience within the fresh produce industry, Marco have been able to help our customers with the very real challenges that they are facing during the pandemic. If you would like to find out more about how MARCO could help you face the challenges of your 2021 harvest, speak to one of our team