red cherries

Cherry ripe for pickers

A DERWENT Valley cherry orchard is pleading with locals to take up 150 jobs fruit picking with the promise of earning thousands of dollars.

With overseas students and backpackers still being kept largely away by border restrictions, Reid Fruits is calling on Derwent Valley locals to take up the jobs.

Reid Fruits managing director Tim Reid, who grows cherries in the Derwent Valley and the Huon Valley, said the extra jobs were available to pick fruit for the interstate and international export markets.

Mr Reid said 100-150 people were needed in the Derwent Valley orchard.

“Picking jobs on these orchards will last for approximately three weeks, after which pickers will also have the opportunity to transfer from those two (Derwent Valley and Huon Valley) orchards to our late-harvest orchard at Jericho in the Southern Midlands,’’ Mr Reid said.
“Jobs at the late-harvest orchard will continue until mid-February.”

Mr Reid said despite occasional negative reports about farm workers’ earnings nationally, Reid Fruits best pickers were earning up to $3000 for a six-day week.

“You don’t have to work flat out, just consistently. It’s a great working environment, you are outside in the fresh air, the trees are not very high and the fruit is large and firm,’’ he said.

Mr Reid said the orchards already had about 140 pickers through the Pacific Island Program, mainly from Vanuatu.

“We also have a great team of local pickers, including from Tasmania’s migrant population, mainly from Bhutanese, Nepalese and African communities,’’ he said.

People with permanent weekday jobs were welcome to sign on and work weekends.

Interested people can apply at https://linxemployment. or phone Linx Employment’s office on 03 6330 2471.

All pickers who apply through Linx will be directly employed by Reid Fruits.