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Prince Charles calls for 'army of people' to help pick crops

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Prince Charles calls for 'army of people' to help pick crops

Old 19th May 2020, 21:33
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Originally Posted by meadowrun View Post
I can see a desire for a 3 month commitment as different crops mature at different times of the season.
Finish one, move on to the next.
Imagine the logistics.
It can be done, just needs a bit of imagination, radical stuff such as farmers being prepared to accept that the seasonal workers bring their families and accommodation in the form of caravans with them, either to park on the farm itself or at the local municipal site for "gens de voyage". That's certainly how a large amount of the seasonal agricultural work gets covered in our part of the world.

Our local maize growers advertise in the local papers for pickers each summer season - that gets a fair take up from the local students...both our kids have done it for above minimum wage and the farmer paid all the required employers social charges.

Of course if the economics is such that the growers insist on absolute minimum expense and no training costs/training inefficiencies then maybe that isn't the model for them...then again our food isn't particularly cheap.
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Old 19th May 2020, 23:56
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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How productive is a newbie in the first couple of weeks? Bit of a training overhead you're building in here...
Very good point. OK it's not flying an Airbus, but there are skills to be learned in fruit picking. Typically new fruitpickers waste a lot of the crops by an inability to recognise which fruit is ready to be picked and which must be left to ripen. Those who are new to the job are going to be more or less a liability, at least for the first few weeks. In the past, foreign pickers who returned year after year already had these skills and could hit the ground running. There is also the question of work ethic. Some years ago I befriended a Lithuanian farm worker who had been here for several years, and with whom I could practise my rusty Russian. He told me that from the age of about 9 he had been expected to put in time on his family's dacha, and he was used to hard work. He bemoaned the fact that his own kids (he had his family over here) were growing up like English children - too interested in computer games to want to do any hard work!
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Old 21st May 2020, 21:31
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Does one pick fruit from one's principal residence, or from one of one's country houses?
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Old 22nd May 2020, 09:57
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by woptb View Post
There aren’t enough takers in the U.K. The work is backbreaking and low paid.Seasonal workers from the continent have a been around for decades and longer, but now it is becoming more difficult.
We want to pay rock bottom prices for veg.
(my bold)

I imagine that cheap veg will usually be chosen over less cheap veg by shoppers - but only if it is there. I imagine that most people will buy the cheapest bag of carrots rather than the most expensive, and not give any consideration to quality. (Only 'strange, weird' folk like me go for organic etc). If the cheap stuff wasn't on the shelf, we would buy the less cheap items that were.

So, the Supermarkets - and by proxy, the food producers using cheap labour - skew the market into demanding cheap foodstuffs. It seems that price is the only consideration that most people use when selecting products. So here we are, we reap what we sow. (Or not in this case!).

Ironic that a lot of us grumble about cheap foreign labour coming into the country or the food airmiles, and everything else being made by China; while we still only buy the cheapest stuff. One of the filters at Screwfix for selecting DIY products is price, which says it all really.

Having said all that, who is HRH to call for us to do hard physical work for low pay?? Why does he not get his wealthy business owning friends to do something about the pay and have some respect for their workers? (Sir) should butt out, and stop behaving like a wealthy landowner talking down to his peasants.....Oh wait.....
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Old 22nd May 2020, 10:26
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=Uplinker;10789564](my bold)

I imagine that most people will buy the cheapest bag of carrots rather than the most expensive, and not give any consideration to quality. (Only 'strange, weird' folk like me go for organic etc). If the cheap stuff wasn't on the shelf, we would buy the less cheap items that were.

It seems that price is the only consideration that most people use when selecting products.

Some people don't have the option than to choose other than the cheapest carrots, etc. Try feeding a family on the minimum wage, then consider how many of these are in a position to select premium / organic produce.


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Old 22nd May 2020, 10:58
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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My nephew has applied for a job as a fruit picker, as he has nothing else to do (would normally have "traveled" in the summer) and hasn't even had the courtesy of a reply to his application, let alone a rejection or interview.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 11:51
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Having said all that, who is HRH to call for us to do hard physical work for low pay?? Why does he not get his wealthy business owning friends to do something about the pay and have some respect for their workers? (Sir) should butt out, and stop behaving like a wealthy landowner talking down to his peasants.....Oh wait.....
I have just listened to Prince Charles's broadcast on the radio. He didnt sound like a wealthy landowner talking down to the peasants to me. He acknowledged that it is very hard,challenging work, but he also pointed out that it is very important. What influence do you think he has over his "business owning friends"? I doubt if he knows any of the owners of the large agricultural concerns down here in in Cornwall, even though he is "their Duke". These are men normally found in overalls and wellies, not tweeds and brogues.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:29
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Just as an aside, Charles looks very, very flushed recently whenever he’s been interviewed on TV. Wonder what that’s about?
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:41
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Recently heard a radio program devoted to this very subject.

Several willing and capable candidates were interviewed for the show.

Their experience was of continual knock backs, for many tens of applications.

Living adjacent to the job site, offering to live on-site in own supplied mobile home, flexible availability all meant nothing.

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Old 23rd May 2020, 08:16
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Sounds the same as trying to get an airline job..........
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Old 23rd May 2020, 10:54
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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yes uplinker that does ring true.....
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Old 23rd May 2020, 11:13
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
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From personal experience, this discussion is ironically amusing. Why? ... Having joined the RAF in 1953, the first three weeks were 'holding' at Kirton-in-Lindsey as aircrew cadets. This was December/January and our 'socially responsible' Station Commander decided that the local farmer's request for (unpaid) cabbage harvesting was a suitable task for we young layabouts. Cutting cabbages in any conditions is not a sought-after job - in Winter, in Lincolnshire, it merits a description unsuitable for the delicate ears of Jet Blast! Apart from the excruciating pain of frozen hands, the after-effect of wet cabbage fields on highly 'bulled' boots could reduce one to near tears! One wonders how today's recruits would respond!
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Old 23rd May 2020, 15:05
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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One went out just now to inspect one's crops.

One might need a picker in the future. Or was that a pecker?
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