The not so secret diary of a kiwifruit post-harvest HR team member
5 June 2015

It is now the first week of June and as the 2015 kiwifruit harvest draws to a close - every day it rains puts us back another day further from finishing.

On the brighter side, this season we have had people from all walks of life come join in on the harvest fun. They have come from far and wide including but not limited to; the Katikati area, Waihi, Paeroa, Whangamata, Tauranga, Auckland, Stratford, Hawkes Bay, Nelson, Australia, Tonga, Samoa, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, Spain, Germany, France, Great Britain, India, Italy, China, Israel, Argentina, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Holland, South Africa and the list goes on.

This season has seen us harvest and pack more fruit than last year to date. The workflow has been very up and down but overall we have all worked more hours than for the same period last year (except for me, because this year I have Seini helping me with the very early morning starts. Thanks Seini for the Saturdays off. Much appreciated).

The daily routine for HR is to:
Come in to find that the usual suspects are away, many without leaving messages on the Infoline. A few quick phone calls to the reliable’s that are on a well-deserved day off to see if they can come in and help us out. Most time’s the response is positive and we get up to a good number for the shift.

On the brighter side, it is great to see the loyalty by well over 96 percent of the staff shown to Hume’s for the season. Your dedication and commitment does not go unnoticed and is very much appreciated.

Every year we struggle with staff numbers due to absences on a daily basis. For the 2015 season we engaged a labour contractor that brought staff in from Hawkes Bay and the South Island. This combined with our loyal locals and RSE’s has allowed us to have a more stable workforce over the season.

This season has seen a shortage of forklift drivers, however we have managed to get by, by sending 6 of our RSE staff off to sit their licenses to have as a backup if required. Some of these boys have ended up in the cool stores on a forklift full time.

We have recently invested more resources in the field team with the appointment of Joe Davies to the role of Orchard Cadet. Joe commenced work for Hume’s on 19th May. Nothing like starting a new job mid-week, in the middle of the kiwifruit harvest.

As Hume’s grow we are always on the lookout for people to join our team that will add value to both the business and the industry. If you think you have what it takes to be part of the Hume’s team, give us a call or drop in to talk with us.

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