Farmer’s fear of fruit price hike

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Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
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Harvey cirtus farmer Richard Eckersley believes he will have enough workers for this season, but worries about future seasons if international travel is unable to return.
Camera IconHarvey cirtus farmer Richard Eckersley believes he will have enough workers for this season, but worries about future seasons if international travel is unable to return. Credit: Pictures: Briana Fiore

A Harvey citrus farmer is worried that the labour shortage will cause a price hike in fruit and vegetables in WA.

Richard Eckersley said although his farm had enough workers for this season, plenty of other farmers were struggling to get workers to pick and package the produce.

He said backpackers and seasonal workers were usually employed to do the job, however, with an international travel ban, fruit had been rotting on trees.

He said this would create a shortage in the market that would drive up the costs of fresh produce for everyday Australians.

Richard Eckersley fears a labour shortage could drive up prices of fruit and vegetables in WA.
Camera IconRichard Eckersley fears a labour shortage could drive up prices of fruit and vegetables in WA.

Mr Eckersley said WA residents looking for work should reach out to farms who were in-need of workers.

We need locals to put their hands up to make sure the supply chain still flows.

Richard Eckersley

He said the few backpackers left in the State were all heading north to pick mangoes in the warm weather.

“It is 32C in Broome and 18C in Harvey, so not a lot of them will stay around.”

Mr Eckersley said he scraped through for this season but was worried about what future seasons would mean for his farm if the labour shortage continued.

Farms in Myalup also appear to be in need of workers, with several vegetable producers posting job listings last week.

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