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Latvian farmers start looking for seasonal workers

As seasonal work approaches, farms look for seasonal workers. Workforce is lacking as usual, Zemgale regional television reported on May 2.

LLC "Arosa-R", founded in 2001, is a family company engaged in the cultivation of blueberries and their seedlings. Blueberry fields cover 93 hectares this year. Harvesting is expected in early July, then helping hands are badly needed, as many as 100 people because machines won't work in this job. Around 40 to 60 euros a day can be earned if one works hard.

"Wash your hands before picking berries, pick berries properly, ripe berries, neither damaged nor green. Then it is necessary to take berries out to the leaders who see if the quality adds up and whether you come to work in a timely manner and work," Mārtiņš Rudzāts, representative of Arosa-R, said about the requirements.

He said that finding the required number of working hands is not easy.

"Responsiveness has been different over the course of the season, but it is not great, of course. We can't secure it with the local workforce. We can't find 100, 120 [people] -- it's impossible," Mārtiņš Rudzāts said.

Like on many other farms, foreign nationals, mostly Ukrainian refugees, are also present. As the harvest needs to be harvested quickly enough, pupils and students are also invited.

"If the pupil calls himself and is interested himself, we accept. If Mum calls, then we avoid accepting such students. We've had experience that if a person has an interest, we assume, there's no problem, but this is how we avoid students whose parents want to re-educate or teach the virtues of work," Rudzāts said.

In spring, summer, and autumn, seasonal work varies – picking stones from the field, sowing, planting, weeding, harvesting, and cattle handling. Getting proper employees is not easy, the organization Farmers' Saeima says.

"There are places where there is a small population, where there are maybe bigger different addiction problems. For those who have remained in rural regions, it is difficult to attract [workforce] there, because undoubtedly a large proportion of Latvian residents – those who could also work in seasonal work – have left Latvia, and those who have stayed are not the most qualified and willful to work," said Maira Dzelzkalēja-Burmistre, Deputy Chair of the Board of the Farmers' Saeima.


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