[06 April/Stuff NZ]

Despite Nelson Tasman is having a “great apple season”, there is a serious shortage of fruit-pickers. The Lynch family orchard behind Fashion Food reports having an unprecedented season, even with an extended drought and two wild-fire related evacuations but are struggling to find workers. The RSE programme is one way of getting overseas workers to orchards. Chair of the Motueka Fruit Growers Association Simon Easton reported to also be struggling with pickers this season, despite being an RSE orchard commenting they generally they come for a few weeks and then leave. He also noted the RSE programme is terrific, but there’s a cap on how many can be allocated.