NZ: Horticulture industry welcomes any move to improve labor supply

Horticulture New Zealand says the industry welcomes any move to improve labor supply to support continued growth in commercial fruit and vegetable growing in New Zealand.

"Horticulture businesses have struggled to find sufficient seasonal labor for the past three years. Coming out of Covid restrictions, investors need certainty around labor to continue to invest in horticulture," says HortNZ President Barry O'Neil. 

"The Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme has been in place for more than 15 years, giving horticulture a much-needed seasonal workforce."

"It's a really important scheme for our industry as well as the Pacific. The system helps our industry meet skilled seasonal labor needs while providing people from the Pacific with the opportunity to learn valuable skills as well as earn money to invest in their communities."

"Knowing they have access to skilled labor provides growers with confidence to plan for the future. That's why our industry is heavily involved in the New Zealand Government's review of the RSE scheme to ensure the scheme meets the needs of the Pacific as well as our industry."

"One of the Pacific's concerns is the draw on their labor force. As the RSE scheme evolves, we agree with the approach of reducing reliance on the Pacific by looking at recruiting skilled seasonal workers from Asia and other countries while ensuring the integrity of the RSE scheme and New Zealand's unique role in the Pacific."


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