Today the Department of Primary Industry and Resources and Northern Territory Farmers Association launched a local worker attraction campaign encouraging Territorians to be local heroes by signing up for fruit picking jobs to help farmers get their produce to market.
Our iconic Territory mangoes are facing new challenges this year due to COVID-19 travel restrictions restricting seasonal and backpacker workforces, with farmers expecting a shortfall of up to 1,000 workers.
The ‘be the pick of the bunch campaign’ encourages locals to be a Territory hero and support our farmers to get our Territory produce off to market quickly.
“With many Territorians hurting from job losses or reduced hours due to COVID-19, this is a chance for meaningful work for locals, and with an iconic Territory product” said Paul Burke, CEO of NT Farmers.
With the mango picking season set to commence in August, Territorians have the opportunity to learn new skills, work hard, make friends, earn good money and work next to some of the NT’s iconic locations.
Mr Burke said that anyone can apply to do fruit picking – “all you need is a good attitude, willingness to learn and to be reliable. Fruit picking makes a huge contribution to the local economy, helps our farmers, and gives people an iconic Territory adventure.”
Department Chief Executive Alister Trier said “fruit picking is a great way of getting a foot in the door in the agricultural sector, with opportunities for ongoing work, training and further career opportunities.
We know a lot of locals have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this work is available now, right on our doorstep.”
NT Mango Industry Association president Leo Skliros said fruit picking is an iconic Territory experience – “Work hard, make great friends, learn new skills, see new places and earn good money through the season whilst playing a big part in ensuring our Territory icon doesn’t rot on the ground.”
The NT is Australia’s largest grower of mangoes, producing around 52 per cent of the national crop with a farm gate production value of around $112 million.
Visit dpir.nt.gov.au/fruitpicking to find out how to apply to become a Territory hero.
Authorised by Alister Trier for the Department of Primary Industry and Resources, Darwin.