Polish producers attracting Poles to pick strawberries

The coronavirus closed the borders, compared to the solutions from the other Eu member states the Polish government is not eager to facilitate the arrival of Ukrainians, and the growers are desperate because there is no one to harvest the fruit. Therefore the idea appeared to employ unemployed Poles.

fresh harvested strawberries
Beeld: ©K. Sak Agronom Plants

In a few days strawberry harvest will begin for good. Usually at this time of year there were a lot of seasonal workers from Ukraine. There are only a handful of them this time. Most strawberry growers have less than 1/3 employees at their disposal. Producers of other fruits or vegetables will also face the same problem.

Farmers try to delay fruit ripening. The weather is also good because there are no high temperatures, so vegetation slowed down. However, these measures will only help if the government in the next days makes it easier for seasonal workers to cross the border: in groups like Hungarian solution of will arange charter flights (organized by several other EU Member States) to Poland. Unfortunately, Polish Minister of Health Łukasz Szumowski is full of concerns about letting Ukrainians in. In his opinion, this may cause further spread of the coronavirus.

harvest of blueberries
Beeld: ©Polish Berry Cooperative

Therefore Poles are encouraged to harvest fruit by associations and organizations of growers. They argue that this is the best job in the world: in conditions that are very attractive and safe today: no particular skills are required, outside on the air and in a  long distance from other work colleagues, well-paid. This is real work at a time when other sectors are having difficulties with employment.

There are many offers from growers looking for employees to pick strawberries on the popular websites. There is even a website dedicated to farmers, www.pracujurolnika.pl. The site is active since May 6, and for now there are already several dozen job offers there to find. And the owner is already planning further expansion of the site and databases.

The Ministry of Agriculture is also willing to support the persuasion of Poles who have lost their jobs to work on the field. The action will start in a few days.

Source: WiOM.pl