BC has been successful at preventing the spread of COVID-19, however local communities are concerned about the arrival of seasonal workers and the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. Fruit pickers play a crucial role in the Okanagan and we want to ensure a healthy season for all. The risk among backpackers is high and precautions must be taken seriously. Please review the information HERE before applying for employment in the BC cherry industry for the 2021 season.
TYPICAL HOURS OF WORK:
Picking crews generally work from sunrise until noon, depending on the heat. Packinghouse shifts generally start an hour or two later and run for 8 or 9 hours. Some orchards may run two shifts or picking crews to come in after picking to do a short shift in the afternoon.
Wages vary from orchard to orchard but there is a minimum picking piecework rate of (2013) $2.24 per pail, including holiday pay. Packinghouse wages usually depend on experience and skill, most paying well above minimum wage for hourly jobs. Some packinghouses offer piecework pay systems for sorting.
Information about employment standards, rates, and regulations is available on the BC Ministry’s website for Agriculture Workers and Employers
Grower members of the BC Cherry Association are listed in the Who’s Hiring link. Most keep “lists” from year to year so be sure to make your contacts early with the individual orchardist. A few of the larger farms have their own linked websites to provide more details as to what to expect. Many growers have on-site camping facilities for their workers.
If you require information about working in Canada, click on the links
below to obtain information regarding eligibility, working visas, working
holidays and more. Information on Working Holiday visas is only available from the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in the foreign country and there is a limited number available each year. Ages are up to 30 or 35 years and it is a one year term. Qualifying countries include New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, UK, Sweden, Germany.