Twenty-three-thousand kiwifruit pickers and packers are needed around New Zealand as the harvest approaches.
According to New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc. (NZKGI), the first kiwifruit will be picked off the vines this week in a harvest which runs until June.
Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, the industry will be relying on New Zealanders to fill the worker void.
The industry expects this year's harvest to be even more than last year’s record of 157 million trays of green and gold kiwifruit.
“Our strategy to attract labour is to get as much information and awareness about the seasonal work available for potential workers out there through a wide range of media and channels and correct any misconceptions about kiwifruit work," NZKGI chief executive officer Nikki Johnson says.
This year, NZKGI says it's also working closely with the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry for Primary Industries to ensure unemployed Kiwis are fully aware of what the industry can offer.
NZKGI says that almost all packhouses say they will be paying at least the living wage of $22.10 per hour.