The horticulture industry in Australia is threatened with a labor shortage.
According to the farmers, the conditions will get worse.
Strawberry growers ask Australians to want to help farmers harvest.
A Queensland strawberry farmer asked Australians to “pick for your country” to prevent the fruit from rotting due to a shortage of pickers.
A Bells Creek farmer named Di West from the Suncoast Harvest plantation said it is likely that the price of foodstuffs will rise, as is also feared by the National Farmers Federation (NFF) and AusVeg.
West said he was forced to leave the plantation because he did not have enough workers to pick and package produce.
Di West, there were not enough workers to reap the crops.
Due to a labor shortage, Di West said he plans to reduce at least 30 percent planting next year.
Di West says there are opportunities for young Australians to get out there and learn about their own country, meet new people, and be more job-ready.
“We need you to go out and be true Australians, love your country and help us pick food.”
Last week, about 160 seasonal workers from Vanuatu arrived in Darwin as part of a pilot program to fill a labor shortage for mango harvests in the Northern Territory.
A spokesman for the Federal Department of Agriculture said “the Australian Government is aware and very concerned about the problem of seasonal worker shortages and is currently considering various policy options to assist farmers in the coming harvest season.”
According to Di West the government should help him through subsidizing on-the-job training.