Farmer’s fear of fruit price hike
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.
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.
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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