Pilot program helps recruit, retain seasonal domestic agriculture workers

Aug 17, 2022

A pilot program this summer is connecting B.C. employers with seasonal domestic workers looking for employment in Okanagan orchards and vineyards.

BC Fruit Works is a collaboration between the BC Grape Growers’ Association, BC Cherry Association, BC Fruit Growers’ Association and the BC Tree Fruit Cooperative, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

“BC Fruit Works is part of our government’s Tree Fruit Industry Stabilization initiative as we look at ways to co-ordinate various agencies through an industry labour strategy,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food. “This collaborative approach is strengthening the B.C. tree-fruit and wine sector, and ensuring their delicious and high-quality products will continue to get into the hands of consumers this summer and in the future.”

In June, BC Fruit Works began a trial launch with several goals, including:

engaging domestic workers to work as branch hands in Okanagan orchards and vineyards;
leveraging technology, including web forms, social media, text messaging, QR codes, scheduling automation and digital marketing, to build a marketplace that connects workers with producers efficiently and in real time; and
creating ongoing job opportunities in Okanagan orchards and vineyards, building support for local growers, and protecting and sustaining B.C.’s food supply for years to come.

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