Adrian Crush, General Manager at Peirson Memorial Trust, started using Harvest Trail Services at the end of last season, to backfill roles. They’re now his first call when he needs workers.
Peirson Farm is part of the Peirson Memorial Trust, a charity organisation dedicated to supporting disadvantaged youth. Seventy-five years ago, two sisters from the Peirson family donated the property, then a sugar cane farm, to the Trustees of the Ann Street Presbyterian Church in Brisbane. The purpose of the generous donation was to provide care for orphans.
Today, produce from the farm is used to fund programs that support disadvantaged youth. Touring the property, walking amongst avocado and macadamia orchards, various facilities accommodating youth engaged in the programs on offer can be seen.
Crops at Peirson Farm
Located at Goodwood, near Bundaberg, Queensland, the farm operation covers 900 hectares. Half the property is currently in use for cropping, including 100 hectares of avocadoes, 40 of macadamias and 50 of mulch hay – which is kept and used on farm as part of sustainable farming practices.
Split over two main locations, up to 30 seasonal workers are employed for the avocado harvest each year. Both Hass and Shephard varieties are grown, so the season is longer to accommodate both. Picking starts in March and wraps up by late August.
Adrian Crush has been General Manager of the farm for six years. He says the property started using the MADEC Harvest Trail Service in Bundaberg at the end of last season to backfill roles. But now he points out, “they are our number one point of contact for labour needs.”
MADEC Harvest Trail Services offered Adrian and his team fast turnaround in filling vacancies, usually finding workers within two days of being notified.
“The communication between the office and farm was great and we were supplied with progress updates as needed,” Adrian said.
He says the ability to locate workers quickly was a big part of why the 2022 harvest didn’t run into any labour issues, despite other challenges.
“The weather was a struggle this year with consistent rainfall, and this resulted in limited work available, where we then lost workers to other roles.”
Previously, the business has taken advantage of backpacker hostels, but they found MADEC HTS was able to access a more diverse pool of workers, and have saved him time, as he didn’t need to organise advertising or pre-screening of workers.
Less time looking for staff means more time on the farm
Adrian can’t emphasise enough just how much time MADEC Harvest Trail Services have given him back.
“I urge growers to contact their local Harvest Trail Services provider to help with looking for harvest workers. You will experience strong efficiency from the team, great follow up and you won’t look back.”