Strawberry picking is hard work. You will be required to pick a targeted number of trays of berries per hour. A bonus is also set allowing workers the opportunity to earn extra. The target and bonus will depend on the quality of the crop, the weather and time of the season.
Due to crop availability, customer demand and the weather we are unable to give you any assurance about the continuity of work. You will only be offered work when it is available. This condition is reflected in your contract.
As the fruit needs to be picked in the coolest part of the day, work may start as early as .
Depending on the availability of work you will normally work a five day week, but we may ask you to work some additional time, particularly during the peak harvest period. Maximum working hours per week will not exceed 48 and maximum number of working days per week will not exceed 6. Rest days will be allocated by the company.
All seasonal workers must realise that crops can be delayed by weather conditions which may result in you working less than five days per week. This generally only happens for a short period of time and most workers can gain this time back as the season advances.
The best quality strawberries are picked into small plastic containers called punnets. These are termed First Class strawberries, and are sold to the major supermarkets. First Class strawberries are a good shape with a nice, even, red colouring.
The lower quality and misshapen strawberries are picked into small plastic trays. These are called Second Class strawberries, and are sold for jam, preserve and purée making.
Diseased and pest-damaged strawberries cannot be sold, but must still be picked in order to ‘clean’ the plants properly. These are termed waste strawberries, and must be discarded into the furrows between the strawberry beds. Cleaning the plants prepares them for the next pick of berries to mature and ripen, and is essential in order to keep the plants healthy.
If all of the ripe First Class, Second Class and waste strawberries are picked, and plants cleaned properly, the next pick of berries will have less Second Class and waste, thus enabling you to make more money by picking more First Class strawberries.