Labour / employment

Fair Farms Initiative secures $1.5m

  The national Fair Farms Initiative (FFI) designed to improve workplace relations practices across Australian horticulture was given an additional $1.5m in ongoing funding last week. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the ongoing funding for the FFI Monday, 5 November following discussions at the recent National Farmer’s Federation (NFF) Congress, where he spoke about the proposed [...]

By |November 14th, 2018|Labour / employment, News|

Visa changes announced

The Prime Minister has announced changes to the Working Holiday Maker and Seasonal Workers Programme (SWP) visas growers rely on to address labour challenges in Australia. Changes to the Working Holiday Maker program will let backpackers qualify for a third year in Australia by performing additional work in regional industries like agriculture, and will raise [...]

By |November 5th, 2018|Labour / employment, News|

Data crucial to Ag Visa’s advancement

Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicated support for the new Ag Visa program at the National Farmer’s Federation (NFF) Congress last week, but only on the condition that “hard data” was supplied. The NFF Congress convened in Canberra to discuss the most important issues facing Australian farmers. In addition to discussions about drought and diversity in [...]

By |October 24th, 2018|Labour / employment, News|

Eyeing the future of robotics

Robotics and automation will play a key role in fifth-generation fruit grower Mitchell McNab’s plans to drive efficiencies and quality in his Goulburn Valley family orchard. Using remote sensors established across the orchard, Mitchell measures soil moisture to help manage water requirements. For more than a century H.V. McNab & Son Pty Ltd [...]

New appointment to boost jobs in Southeast Qld

Queensland's Growcom has appointed Craig Dillon to service agriculture employers across south-east Queensland to alleviate any stress they may face when trying to source new staff members. "Agriculture is a volatile industry, with seasonal changes highly influencing workface needs, and it can be an uphill battle trying to promote its benefits to jobseekers,”said Growcom Workforce Development [...]

By |October 3rd, 2018|Labour / employment, News|

Proposed changes to Horticulture Award

The Fair Work Commission is currently finalising changes to employee arrangements within the Horticulture Award. The Commission’s provisional view is that overtime will be introduced to the arrangements for casual employees. It involves an average of hours worked over eight weeks, those hours being worked between 6am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday by [...]

By |May 16th, 2018|Industry Issues, Labour / employment, News|

Tasmania state report – Apr/May 2018

Mid-January saw news arrive for Tasmanian apple growers that they thought they’d never hear: outbreaks of Queensland fruit fly. Tasmanian apple growers Shane Weeks (left) and Brett Squibb (right) are following new protocols to transport their fruit outside the state. Detections occurred on Flinders Island in Bass Strait, then at Spreyton, Sassafras and [...]

By |April 20th, 2018|Labour / employment, Tasmania|

Labour shortfall prompts automation research

If there’s a single common challenge hovering over Australia’s pome fruit industry it’s labour – specifically, a shortage thereof – prompting 2018 Nuffield scholar Bisi Oladele to look into packhouse automation. As the technical manager for Geoffrey Thompson Fruit Packing at Shepparton, Bisi oversees all quality control and compliance aspects of one of Australia’s biggest [...]

Pacific Island workers good for business and families

With recent Government statistics showing a sharp drop in the number of working visa applicants, apple and pear growers need to have a range of options for harvest labour. The experience of major citrus producer Costa Group shows how the Seasonal Worker Programme is delivering results elsewhere in the horticulture industry. Jone Dusilele Raitani [...]

By |April 20th, 2018|Labour / employment|

Fair Farms Initiative supports growers and farm workers

With the treatment of farm workers in the national media spotlight and an increased focus in Australia’s Fair Work laws on the protection of vulnerable employees, now – more than ever –growers must ensure their employment practices are up to scratch. To help growers with employment matters and support the fair treatment of workers, [...]

By |March 27th, 2018|Labour / employment, News|