Why won’t Brits pick vegetables for £30 an hour?

Campbell

Member
Location
Herefordshire
We had a great system in the UK that worked well for us. We had all realised that as we developed easier and more rewarding ways of earning a living, we could get others to do the less pleasant and manual type jobs for us. There were plenty of these other people, willing to come here, get stuck in and accept comparatively lower wages, and everyone was happy...... until the system failed rather suddenly and we got caught without a plan B.
 

Hilly

Member
What i find odd is folk will knacker themselves playing sport for nothing but take no pride in manual work.
What I find is with jobs like bale iggling, (moving small bales by hand) is that the first week or so can be awful but once you rebuild a level of fitness it becomes easier as your muscle tone improves. I reckon folk just don't stick at these jobs for long enough to get over the pain barrier.
I quite enjoy manual work and would be happy to do it for say three months if I wasnt already busy (doing manual work) but certainly I wouldn't want to do it all year.
My late father did peace work on the forestry commission they had a range of jobs he said first week on a job you made nothing but basic second week you made a little bonus third week you made a wage you were happy with , 4th week they moved you onto something else as it was costing to much in wages 😂 , he described it as great fun/camaraderie but really was white slavery .
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
if it was relatively easy to av £30/hr they'd have no problem....story is bs

I used to work on a vegetable farm and it was bloody hard work. I didn't do piecework but worked alongside gangs of pieceworkers, mainly Irish back then. To earn good money you need to not only work consistently quickly and efficiently but those around you supplying baskets and containers and shifting them and feeding the riddles or washers need consistent service with minimal delays and a demand for a full day's work every day, rain or shine. I remember doing 'neeps' in the pouring rain one Saturday morning, covered in mud, knives in hand, with steam rising from myself and my fellow worker's sodden clothes when two Swiss au-pairs and a rather lovely groom came by on horseback and I remember commenting that only mad dogs and Swiss girls were daft enough to be out in that weather.
 

Kidds

Member
Horticulture
Question is how achievable is that wage repeatably
I have done that sort of work nearly all my life. I am too old and fat now but I can do £30 an a hour speed, only for 6 hours though. I have met a lot of good workers also capable of that kind of speed both British and foreign, it is very rare to come across one that can do it beyond 6/7 hours. Pretty much all the fast workers I have known have stopped after 6 hours even if they had more work in front of them.
It would be 6 days a week, or maybe 6 and a half, but yes the good workers could do it every day
 

Hilly

Member
I have done that sort of work nearly all my life. I am too old and fat now but I can do £30 an a hour speed, only for 6 hours though. I have met a lot of good workers also capable of that kind of speed both British and foreign, it is very rare to come across one that can do it beyond 6/7 hours. Pretty much all the fast workers I have known have stopped after 6 hours even if they had more work in front of them.
It would be 6 days a week, or maybe 6 and a half, but yes the good workers could do it every day
1k a week for a good six hrs is not a bad number , no gym membership required but someone with work ethic could make something of themselves giving it a bloody good go .
 

Ashtree

Member
Veggie picking and farm labouring was ever done by migrant and itinerant labourers. It’s the same the world over. Tough work, tough conditions, poor pay, requires labourers who will travel, live in basic condition, work like hell to make really good money, relative to what they could at home, in poorer countries.
Brexit Britain has cut off it’s right hand, in pursuit of “sovereignty”! The notion that Eastern European’s in this case, would be replaced by able willing Brits, was never in the slightest bit realistic.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
My late father did peace work on the forestry commission they had a range of jobs he said first week on a job you made nothing but basic second week you made a little bonus third week you made a wage you were happy with , 4th week they moved you onto something else as it was costing to much in wages 😂 , he described it as great fun/camaraderie but really was white slavery .
Our old neighbour claimed he bought his farm out of the proceeds of his forestry commission work during the war. Before that he had worked as the butler at the big house, then became the local miller before working for the commission then buying a farm off the estate. He was extremely careful with money, never bought any expensive machinery, got contractors in for those jobs, but was a good and fair man in any dealings he had with us.
 

spin cycle

Member
Location
north norfolk
Veggie picking and farm labouring was ever done by migrant and itinerant labourers. It’s the same the world over. Tough work, tough conditions, poor pay, requires labourers who will travel, live in basic condition, work like hell to make really good money, relative to what they could at home, in poorer countries.
Brexit Britain has cut off it’s right hand, in pursuit of “sovereignty”! The notion that Eastern European’s in this case, would be replaced by able willing Brits, was never in the slightest bit realistic.

god :rolleyes: ...do you ever 'change the record'...you're bitter over brexit....WE GET IT:rolleyes:
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Veggie picking and farm labouring was ever done by migrant and itinerant labourers. It’s the same the world over. Tough work, tough conditions, poor pay, requires labourers who will travel, live in basic condition, work like hell to make really good money, relative to what they could at home, in poorer countries.
Brexit Britain has cut off it’s right hand, in pursuit of “sovereignty”! The notion that Eastern European’s in this case, would be replaced by able willing Brits, was never in the slightest bit realistic.
I never saw Brexit as having anything to do with preventing foreign workers from coming here. In fact au contraire we should now be free to welcome workers from wherever we like including the commonwealth and I am sure this will happen once the dust settles. Most importantly we will manage immigration to fill vacancies as we see fit, not as Brussels sees fit.
 

melted welly

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
DD9.
Let's face it- it's a dull as fudge job and probably in poor conditions: if you want a pish you have to stand behind the harvester or trailer and by the end of the day I bet your back hurts like hell, I know mine would.

And pray tell, what do these folk do when harvesting veg by hand is finished? Get fudged off down the road no doubt?
Not really, if you’re in a good squad and everyone pulls their weight, anything is a good job, because you’ve got a team spirit, if you have a laugh and a giggle then so much the better. Back hurts for a while, then the muscles get stronger.

There’s also the perennial misery-guts and moaners who, if they put half the effort into work as they did bitching and worrying about what everyone else is up to, could make as much as the grafters that they whine about. Used to be an old bint that came flower picking every year, half deaf, she’d phone at 5am every day, shouting questions, for a full month before we started. Then she’d come out, walk up and down a single drill, say “these flowers are shite”, get back in the car and feck off again till next year. 🙄.

Also a lot of the squads used to follow the seasonal work. Cornish flower pickers followed the flowers starting in the south in Jan, finish up here in April. I think they spent the summer either on the berries or going to festivals, or protesting against stuff, then apple picking, then picking whelks or cockles or something till the flowers came on. These guys used to follow the work. Head out in a motley crew of Sherpa and transit vans, complimented the local squads, bit of aggro between them tho.

There was a system that worked in the past. When tax went digital it forced the end of the cash in hand economy this workforce thrived on. So they either joined a ganger or didn’t bother, most gave it up, probably full time protestors now.

A good attitude never has a bad job. A bad attitude never has a good job.
 

Kidds

Member
Horticulture
The Eastern Europeans only took over the job when their countries joined the EU, prior to that it was Russians and various other ex USSR countries and it was a seasonal visa not a permit to stay.
No reason we can't do the same sort of thing again but it does have to be financially attractive to them and if in the meantime they have become relatively wealthy within their own country it won't be.
Hardest ones we ever had were a gang of Chechens, they scared me!
 

teslacoils

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
6am starts and long days while living in a static caravan may suit itinerant workers for six months who can move to holbeach but less practical for most. I'd love to do say four hours a day. I'm struggling to find a job on a production line as the attitude to flexible working to fit in reality is unhelpful. The "gig economy" is not alive and well in rural Lincolnshire.

I'm sure my piece rate would be better doing 4* 4 hour shifts than 4*8 hour shifts. So why not be flexible and get more workers doing fewer hours?
 

glasshouse

Member
Location
lothians
Thatcher made a fool of hard working men.., buy your council house and dabble in shares was the message.
Blair continued that bulls**t, and opened thr doors to inlimited migrants to do the bad jobs.
They undercut the existing highly paid highly skilled uk pickers who went away to other work
Now after brexit covid we have no one to do it
 
Yep, not a "salary" like they suggest. Its a temp job when they need you at piece work rates. I notice no one told the reporter how much her efforts would have earnt her. I bet she was topped up to minimum wage.
It seems she didn't even do 1, 8 hour day.


Yep the combinable cropping boys will be finished for the winter shortly, they could go pick veg and to reduce the subs they get :unsure: (y)

How many folk on here would get up at 5 tomorrow morning to be in a veg paddock by 6 and stay there picking all day?

Welll I've just come in from packing sprout stems in 5's to a box & off to wholesalers at 3am

Then tomorrow more sprouts, caulie, cabbage & broccoli & its not a great forecast.
 

Latest Poll on TFF

  • Yes

    Votes: 22 15.1%
  • No

    Votes: 124 84.9%

JCB launches Fastrac ‘iCon’

  • 140
  • 0
Written by Charlotte Cunningham from CPM Magazine

JCB has launched new Fastrac 4000 and 8000 Series tractors with an all-new electronics infrastructure which is claimed to deliver higher levels of performance. According to JCB, the new Fastrac iCon operator environment has three key features: iConfigure – creating a bespoke control experience for every operator iConnect – integrating advanced precision agriculture technology iControl – redefining operation through new driveline software The 175hp to 348hp (133kW to 260kW) Fastracs feature the new iCon armrest console and touch-screen display to provide flexibility in operator allocation and operator information, as well as a new transmission control strategy to enhance operator comfort and powertrain efficiency, says the manufacturer...
Top