Apple growers struggling without backpacker pickers
Apple growers in Hawke's Bay are preparing to work around the clock to cope with what's being described as an extreme shortage of seasonal workers. Orchardists say they less have than half the workers they need, and despite a recruitment campaign, are failing to attract the usual hordes of backpackers they rely on. Hastings-based Bostock is the largest producer of organic apples in the country. Its human resource manager, Vikki Garrett told RNZ reporter Anusha Bradley they'd usually hire 100 or so backpackers for the harvest, but so far they've only managed to recruit 10.