Picking fruits is the best way to make money in the summer – and with the corona virus infection, pickers are in greater demand than ever before.
Summer has almost arrived here, and what better way to enjoy the best British weather than to earn some money fruit? In the UK fruiting usually takes place in between the summer months, they start from May to September when apples, hops and strawberries are harvested. Depending on the month of summer, you will pick a particular fruit. For example, the strawberries and berries usually start from late May or first week of June to mid-August, plums and apples are picked in Begin of September, and pears are picked in Mid-September.
Concerns about the supply of fruit and vegetables in the UK are not an issue. Despite the panic-buying at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, food items are still plentiful. In fact, the problem comes down to the workers.
Most of the fruit pickers in the UK are international workers. However, with travel being banned due to the corona virus, farmers are urging young and unemployed British people to join the army in selecting their fruits in the summer.
Thousands of migrant workers, who normally travel to the UK for the harvest season, will not be able to travel this year. So, those who already live in the UK need to help farmers (and make money too!)
What Was Involved?
This is one of the few jobs in the world that is so simple. You will be shown how to determine if a fruit is ripe enough to pick it up and what to do with them once picked. Often, accommodation is offered as part of the job, so you can spend your summer life in a new place, work outside, and get fit!
No skills required, no prior experience required. All you need is to speak English and have a strong desire to work hard. This is physically necessary work, so you need to be in good health. This is a great way to burn those calories and spare tires that are self-contained!
Picking fruit is an outdoor job, so wear old casual clothes. You can stand in the fields for hours, so comfortable shoes are essential. You will need a hat and some sun cream so you will not get burned.
If hard work is not your cup of tea, there are many jobs associated with picking fruit. This includes checking and weighing the fruit, making jam, packing / labeling and selling the fruit at the farm shop.
Do I Need to Relocate?
If you do not live near the farm where you want to work, you can stay at a farm house or site camp in a caravan. Most farmers provide hostels and accomodation for free to their selectors, while others may charge a small fee. It is best to check before you sign up, otherwise you will lose money by digging.
How Will I Be Paid?
You usually pay by hand, so you will need to order your own tax / national insurance. You need to register as a self-employed person – whether it is a summer job or you have another PAYE job during the year.
You may receive an hourly or daily rate, but sometimes you will be paid according to how fast you are and the amount you pick (e.g. a certain amount per pound). The system which is called ‘Peace work’, which benefits hard workers.
Since this is generally considered a normal job, most farmers will not be offered an employment contract or benefits such as vacation or sick pay.
Should You Do It?
Fruit picking is manual labor and does not apply to everyone. So, this may not be for you if you are not interested in physical work. If a little hard glue does not scare you, this is a great way to make money while being outdoors and soaking in the sun. You will also make new friends as you get to know your fellow fruit pickers.
Fruit Picking In the UK
Fruit farms in the UK produce a wide range of fruits, so finding a job somewhere is not difficult. For example, the Kelsey Farms in Kent employs above than 250 people each summer to pick their fruit. Feed the Nation Drive has more farm jobs available this year than usual.
Here is our step to find a fruit picking job:
Step One: Search your area
Check local farms for work first and look for vacancies in local documents. Find a farmer’s market near you and ask about jobs that are currently being advertised.
Step two: Look online
In the search for fruit selection in Europe go to the jobs you choose and see what is available. Another useful website is Any Work Anywhere, which has a similar layout and can be used to search all kinds of other seasonal jobs here and abroad.
Another good website is Job 4 students, which has summer vacancies like fruit picking jobs. When you find a job of your choice, email the employer directly with some basic information about yourself and the dates you can work on.
Here is a handy tip, try these sites who can help you –
– Pro Force
– Fruitful jobs
Step three: Want to be a picker
Read about others’ experiences in picking fruit here and take a look at this information about two major fruit growers in the UK, giving you an idea of how it works:
Fruit Picking in Scotland
Want to pick fruit outside the summer months? P.J. Stirling Fruit Farms There is a soft orchard in Scotland that runs year-round, but is particularly busy from April to November. A shift on this farm is usually no more than eight hours six days a week. The day starts at 6.30am and ends at 3pm. Wages are in line with EU employment laws. There are coaching trips on mobile homes and hostels and on Sundays to share at reasonable prices to take workers to locally priced locations.
Fruit Picking in Kent
There are 3 bases in Kendall owned by Edward Vinson Ltd. The company owns 70 hectares of fields full of strawberries and 20 hectares of fields full of raspberries. You are paid by the hour or by piecework. The work week is from Saturday to Friday, with more time shifts available during peak seasons. The base hourly rate is 21 6.21, which is not much, but the overtime rate is 150%. ‘Peace work’, corresponding to how much is paid, is available at 62 0.621 per unit. Again, accommodation is available for a small fee per week (camps with mobile homes).