‘Grey nomads, please help us harvest our crops!’

Published: November 24, 2020
Grey nomads wanted for fruitpicking work on Australian farms

With pandemic restrictions keeping overseas backpackers away, desperate farmers are increasingly  hoping that more grey nomads can be persuaded to help them get their produce picked.

The situation is so dire that there are fears many crops will go unharvested … and that could mean a sharp spike in the price of fresh fruit and vegetables at the supermarket.

Thomas Cullen, a Policy Officer with the National Farmers Federation, says there are a wide range of jobs available, and that grey nomads are highly sought after for the ‘lifetimes of knowledge, skills and experience’ they bring.

“As travellers living on their own terms, grey nomads are ideally suited to the short-term, unconventional working conditions that are so often associated with peak seasons across a range of agricultural commodities,” he said. “Whether it’s rising early in the morning to harvest ripe passionfruit in Queensland, or working to repair and maintain fencelines on a cattle property in NSW, the diversity of opportunities across Australia’s agricultural regions means that almost any willing nomad can find employment on a farm – regardless of past experience in agriculture.”

The National Farmers Federation said the impact of Covid-19 on farming businesses has been dramatic, with a shortfall of 26,000 workers expected to hit fruit and vegetable producers particularly hard over the coming months.

“The impact of this will be hardest felt by citrus, stonefruit and mango producers across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory,” Mr Cullen said. “Many farmers will go out of their way to accommodate and train workers, but the life experience and self-sufficiency of most grey nomads puts them at a distinct advantage in these respects.”

He said the types of work on offer may vary from simple housekeeping and completion of odd jobs around the farm to intense periods of fruit picking, vehicle and plant operation and maintenance, landscaping, or animal care and husbandry.

Farm work opportunities are advertised in a variety of ways, but the National Farmers’ Federation has consolidated many of these into a central resource centre on FarmHub.

  • Are you tempted to try some farm work? Have you ever tried fruit picking before? Is it something you would recommend to other grey nomads? Comment below.
  • We now have a Grey Nomads Instagram page. Please click here to follow us.
18 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Carol
1 year ago

Tried to get this sort of work before I reached retirement age but these farmers weren’t interested. They only wanted backpackers they could exploit for the 2nd year visa. Not interested in doing it now.

Peter
1 year ago
Reply to  Carol

Try Rugby Farms in Stanthorpe if your in QLD.

Carol
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter

I am retired now and don’t need the money.

dbareis
1 year ago

From everything I’ve read you can’t get the job from the farmers as they rely on underpaying slave labour.

Peter
1 year ago

Pay award wages and super. Provide place to park caravan and I’m sure you will get plenty people. We just did 2 weeks with Rugby Farms in Stanthorpe and they treat you well, pay you right.

Rick
1 year ago

I think Carol and Debarei S pretty much nailed it.

Linda
1 year ago

Totally agree we aren’t wanted as we can’t be exploited.

Mark and Chris /juspokinlong
1 year ago

Replied to ad on this site for work in Young, wife and I were accepted, start date early November left Urunga October finally met owners promise to start late nov,up to date sitting around no income. Guess depends on how many backpackers they have got since.

Andrew
1 year ago

Completely understand this scenario , I have applied for 15 jobs, and even contacted one cherry farmer who was so desperate he was on channel nine, telling all that he would pay up to $500 a day, never heard a word back from them. To date, only one has reached out to me and I start next week, after 2 months of emailing, across Nsw.

Mark and Chris /juspokinlong
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew

Good luck Andrew, hope you don’t get mucked around.

Robyn
1 year ago

Or how much work they have. No good paying to sit on your arse. It’s the nature of the game.

Neil
9 months ago

I have applied for a dozen job’s got nothing I think as soon as they see made in Australia they are not interested

Tina
1 year ago

1500 Australians signed up for work – as soon as they were identified as Australians farmers were not interested
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/11/08/australians-farm-work-job/

Robyn
1 year ago

I picked fruit for 5yrs made some good money. Had some slack times waiting for fruit to be ripe. It doesn’t rippen on demand. Never had trouble getting work. Just roll up where the fruit is. You’ll get on

Kevin Conoplia
1 year ago

We did farm fruit picking and packing work for 7 yrs from 2002, but towards the end the farmers were hiring more backpackers and 457 visa workers and ignoring us Nomad workers.
So it’s come to bite them on the arse now as far as I and many others I knew back then.

Den
1 year ago

would the farmers be trying to use Grey Nomads and the Australian consumers in an attempt to pressure the Govt to allow Overseas workers to fly in on special deals, similar to Qld’s footballer deals. Farmers have always cried poor when isn’t their way.
I am from farming stock understand how the squeaky gate works .

Ronnie
1 year ago

Wow how disappointing we would like to help the farmers however its all about exploration? Cheap labour when b it suits I like to buy Aussie owned
and grown had to b up beans from Denmark what a bloody joke come on Aldi. Give the Oz farmers a break. Pay the grey nomands a good hourly rate we will come in droves

Charlie
1 year ago

What a sad state of affairs we are in now, in this wonderful, beautiful land, the “LUCKY COUNTRY” with jobless rate rising, and produce left to rot, with money being handed out, hand over fist and politicians in the trough! God Help Us

ADVERTISEMENT

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop