Fruit Picker and Packer job in Canada
As a fruit picker and packer, your job is essential to getting fresh produce from orchards and fields to stores and markets. You will work outside picking fruit by hand, checking and sorting the products and packing them correctly for transport and sale. It is a physically demanding job that requires efficiency, care and endurance. However, for those who enjoy being active and working with their hands, the job can be very rewarding.
Average Salary of a Fruit Picker and Packer in Canada
As a fruit picker and packer in Canada, you can earn an average of $14-$16 per hour. The actual salary may be higher or lower depending on factors such as!
- Location and cost of living. Salaries tend to be higher in areas with a higher cost of living.
- Level of experience. More experienced pickers and packers can earn up to $18 an hour.
- Type of fruit. Berries and fruits often cost a little more than other fruits.
- Wages may increase during peak harvest times due to increased demand.
In addition to hourly wages, some fruit pickers and packers receive benefits such as!
- Overtime compensation for hours worked over 44 hours per week.
- Bonuses for continued high productivity and quality.
- Discounts on fresh produce. Some farms offer fresh fruit at discount prices to pickers and packers.
Benefits of Working as a Fruit Picker and Packer
As a fruit picker and packer, you will gain valuable work experience and skills that will be useful in addition to your salary.
- Acquire practical skills – Picking and packing fruit requires physical dexterity, stamina and the ability to work efficiently. You will develop skills in harvesting, sorting and packing produce, which could mean jobs in agriculture, storage and food processing.
- Work outside – For lovers of physical outdoor work, picking and packing fruit offers an opportunity to spend time outdoors in orchards and fields. The works usually take place in summer and autumn, when good weather can be used.
- Respond to seasonal demand – The work of picking and packing fruit is often seasonal, harvest time. This allows for flexible work that fits around school schedules or other jobs. You can work for a few weeks or months at a time and take the rest of the year off.
- Earn extra income – Seasonal fruit picking and packing jobs can provide extra income during summer holidays or temporary unemployment. Although the wages are not high, the job does not require special training, so you can start making money quickly.
- Get a cultural experience – Fruit farms are often staffed by migrant workers and travelers on working holiday visas. Communicating with people from different backgrounds offers an opportunity for cultural exchange and learning.
Main tasks and responsibilities of a fruit picker and packer
As a fruit picker and packer, you have some important tasks and responsibilities to fulfill. Your task is to provide consumers with high quality fruit products.
- Hand-pick fruit from trees, bushes and vines when they are ripe as indicated.
- Twist, cut or grab the fruits of the plants carefully to avoid bruising.
- Carefully place the selected fruits in containers for transport to the packing area.
Inspection and sorting of fruit
- Check the quality, ripeness, size and defects of the fruit when it arrives from the field.
- Sort and sort fruit according to quality standards and specifications.
- Discard or set aside spoiled, damaged or defective fruit.
- Arrange and pack sorted fruit neatly in boxes, crates, bags or other containers.
- Ensure full containers meet weight requirements and do not overpack.
- Label containers with information such as fruit type, grade and packing date for identification and traceability.
Maintaining a safe and productive work environment
- Follow all safety procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements.
- Keep all equipment, tools and workplaces clean and properly disinfected. • Report problems with equipment, supplies or facilities to the appropriate supervisor.
- You may be required to operate machinery such as conveyor belts, labeling equipment, pallet jacks and carts.
- Helps track productivity, waste and quality control.
- Carry out general cleaning, maintenance and repairs if necessary.
- Assist in training new employees in picking, sorting, packing and food safety procedures.
Best Places in Canada to Work as a Fruit Picker and Packer
British Columbia is Canada’s largest fruit producing province with over 2,500 fruit farms in the Okanagan Valley and Fraser Valley. The most important crops are apples, cherries, peaches, pears and berries. The harvest season runs from May to October and offers many job opportunities for fruit pickers and packers. Wages range from $11 to $20 an hour. People working abroad are often provided with accommodation and transport.
The Niagara region of Ontario is a major destination for fruit picking and packing. The region is known for its delicate fruits such as peaches, pears, plums, apricots and grapes. A typical harvest season runs from June to October. Pay rates are comparable to BC, about $11 to $20 an hour.
Quebec’s fruit-growing areas are located primarily in the Eastern Townships regions. Apples are the most common crop, with harvest running August through October. However, berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are also grown and picked during the summer months. Wages tend to be on the lower end of the scale at $11 to $15 per hour. Accommodation is typically not provided. A basic knowledge of French is useful for communicating with farmers and other workers.
The Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia and the Fundy Coastal region of New Brunswick offer fruit picking jobs, especially for apples, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. The harvest period spans June through October. Pay is comparable to Quebec, ranging from $11 to $15 hourly. Worker housing is usually not provided. Experience working in an agricultural setting is an asset.
Requirements and Qualifications to Become a Fruit Picker and Packer
To become a fruit picker and packer in Canada, certain requirements and qualifications are typically necessary.
Education and Training
While a high school diploma is not always mandatory, fruit pickers and packers typically receive short-term on-the-job training to learn proper picking and handling techniques. Training may cover the proper use of equipment, health and safety standards, and quality control procedures. Some farms may require additional certifications for operating heavy machinery.
Fruit picking and packing requires a reasonable level of physical fitness and stamina. Workers frequently lift and move heavy boxes, crates, and bags of fruit. They are on their feet for long periods and often work in hot weather conditions. Tasks such as climbing ladders to reach higher branches also require physical dexterity and balance.
Skills and Abilities
Successful fruit pickers and packers possess certain skills and abilities that allow them to perform their duties efficiently. These include!
- Manual dexterity to carefully pick and handle fruit
- Good vision to properly inspect fruit for quality and ripeness
- Ability to work as part of a team to meet production goals
- Willingness to work flexible hours, often starting very early in the morning
- Capability of following strict food safety standards and procedures
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