Field Fruit and Vegetable

  • The field fruit and vegetable industry, which includes farms that produce root vegetables, melons, sweet corn, tomatoes, and peppers, is a significant agricultural employer with substantial labour challenges.
  • Jobs tend to be labour intensive and highly seasonal, which makes it difficult to attract and retain workers, and the industry has the largest labour gap in the agriculture sector. It relies heavily on foreign labour, and in 2014, 33% of its workforce was foreign at the seasonal peak. Even so, the industry was unable to fill 1,100 jobs, which cost it $240 million.
  • Unless the industry’s labour challenges can be addressed, the industry will become even more dependent on the unpredictable availability of foreign labour. By 2025, the number of jobs that can’t be filled by domestic workers will rise to 45%, or 10,800 jobs, which is the largest proportion of any agricultural commodity.
  • For more information on the field fruit and vegetable industry’s production trends and labour market challenges, download the fact sheet or full commodity report.