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Where to find Fruit Picking Jobs in the UK
Farmers in the UK need more than 500,000 seasonal workers across the food supply sector. This is after Brexit, and the COVID-19 pandemic drove thousands of seasonal foreign workers away.
The UK government implemented visa schemes to allow seasonal workers from the EU into the country to work in the food supply sector. However, lockdown measures hampered the movement of people across borders.
According to the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, the situation was bad with fears of empty shelves looming. The manufacturers who supply food and other stuff had similar issues with drivers. Several retailers reported having difficulties getting products such as meats, beer, and others.
A Kent-based company reported fruit picking job applications were down by 90% in 2020 and 2021. The effect of the labour shortage is that more than a third of the fruits and vegetables could go to waste.
To ensure this does not happen, UK farmers are offering well-paid fruit picking jobs. Are you interested? Keep reading!
Where to Apply for Fruit Picking Jobs in the UK?
There are several online sites where you can look for fruit picking jobs in the UK. Start by checking Indeed, an American employment website for job listings. Launched in November 2004, you can search for millions of jobs from thousands of job boards, classifieds, and even company websites.
To find fruit picking jobs in the UK, visit the Indeed site. Then, enter your search term “Fruit Picking” and location, then click Find Job. The site should list available fruit picking jobs near you.
The Department of Work and Pensions in the UK also lists fruit picking jobs on its portal. Simply visit the DWP GOV.UK portal and search for fruit picking jobs in the UK. If you want to receive information on the latest jobs, create an email alert.
British Summer Fruits is the industry body that represents British grown fruits and vegetables. The organization works closely with farmers during summer when they prepare to harvest food from their farms.
You can apply for fruit picking jobs in the UK via British Summer Fruits. Simply visit the British Summer Fruits site, and send your CV directly to the farm using the contact details listed on the pins on the map.
Apply for fruit picking jobs at one of Hall Hunter’s three fruit farms in the UK. Hall Hunter is one of the largest berry growers, and they accept applications for fruit picking jobs between April and November. To learn more, head to the Hall Hunter website.
Other sites where you can apply for fruit picking jobs include:
Some of the fruit picking jobs come with accommodation but at a small charge.
How Much Do Fruit Pickers Get Paid in the UK?
The pay for fruit pickers in the UK varies from farm to farm. However, it ranges from minimum wage. The rate for the National Minimum Wage for those aged 23 and over was £8.91 in April 2021. This is the current rate but the GOV.UK lists £9.50 as the minimum wage per hour from April 2022.
Depending on the job, some farms pay more than £20 or £30 per hour. Such jobs may offer productivity bonuses, but all work is seasonal.
When to Pick Fruit and Vegetables in the UK?
The best time to pick locally grown fruits is when they are in season. However, this varies from fruit to fruit. For example, apples ripen between August and November. This easily grown fruit is perfect for desserts. The most popular variety is Bramley.
Apricots are ready for harvest between July and August. They do struggle to grow in colder areas, but some thrive, especially if protected from frost. Next are blackberries. Easily found in hedgerows from late summer, they’re ready for harvest between July and September.
The following is a list of fruits and the months when they’re ready for picking.
June – Strawberries, carrots, broccoli, rhubarb, gooseberries, redcurrants, cauliflowers
July – Loganberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, potatoes, peas, spinach, tayberries, strawberries, cherries
August – Raspberries, marrows, tayberries, sweet corn, apples
September – Plums, pumpkins, tomatoes, runner beans, mid-season apples
October – Elderberries, plums, pears
November – Leeks, Brussel sprouts, greens
Fruit picking starts in early May, but recruitment for fruit picking jobs starts in March. Most farms carry out recruitment all year round and you’ll find new workers coming in to work in the farms.
To secure a fruit picking job, apply early. If you get your job application in early, you’ve a better chance of getting well-paying opportunities. While fruit picking jobs are manual jobs, you still have to make a good impression. To do so, present all necessary information clearly and coherently.
To stand out from the crowd amongst other applicants, list all relevant experiences. This includes physical activities and achievements. Fruit picking is a physically demanding job. So, you must be physically fit as the job requires you to stand, bend and pick fruits and vegetables. Make sure to include your physical achievements in your CV.
Despite the job being physically demanding, it offers an opportunity to enjoy the stunning scenery and summer breeze. Working outdoors boosts your energy which in turn reduces stress and depression.
Fruit picking jobs encourage you to move. Regular moving increases your health longevity. Instead of sitting in front of your PC, fruit picking jobs will strengthen your muscles, and improve your balance and stability.
To be eligible for fruit picking jobs in the UK, you must be 18 years old and over. Now that you’ve a good understanding of what’s involved with fruit picking jobs, the only thing left to do is apply for the jobs.