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Spain: Shortage of labourers for the berry harvest

José Luis García-Palacios, president of the Interprofessional Association of Andalusian Strawberry Producers (Interfresa), which brings Asaja Huelva, Freshuelva and Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de Andalucía-Huelva together, said this Monday that some companies and producers are likely "to suffer a shortage of labourers for the harvest campaign, and although he stated that "we should not be doomsayers, we should indeed worry about being as prepared as possible."

In a press conference, and asked about this issue, he assured that the "800 people who have applied for the job offer issued by the Andalusian Employment Service (SAE) of the Government of Andalusia on its web portal will be more than welcome. This ad offered 11,990 jobs for the strawberry harvest, but it has become clear that the administration "will have to take action on the matter with recruitment at source."

It is worth recalling that an agreement was reached on 19 December at the Migration Flows Commission to give a boost to the recruitment of Moroccan seasonal workers.

"As everything in life, the key is to be responsible and committed and for everything in the fields of labour and safety to be audited by the Administration." At this point, he stressed that Asaja and Freshuelva "have been trying since 1998 to solve the labour shortage issue and we have had two years suffering its impact, despite the unemployment figures."

In this regard, he said that "if it were not for the recruitment quota to prevent the red fruits from being left unharvested, the sector would be in a very different situation." He trusts that the administrations "have come to terms with the issue after two years of negotiations, and so the necessary workforce will be available in March."

Source: Europa Press

Publication date: 1/11/2018



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