Our harvest workers who have been with us for years are irreplaceable. While in the foreground you can only see the freshly picked red strawberries or crisp apples, in the background many hardworking harvest helpers are active. Without them, it wouldn't be remotely possible to get the work done in the field. Most have been coming to us for many years and have already formed their circles of friends, which understandably brings fun and enjoyment to the work when away from home. In the past, most of our harvesters came from Poland, but now we have more Romanian harvesters and in 2021, we also had our first Ukrainian harvesters.
We appreciate their work very much, because not everyone is willing to work outside even in unpleasant climatic conditions.
That's what we particularly appreciate about our harvest workers: More than 1,500 kilometers, a 20-hour bus ride and more than 2 months away from home and family - unimaginable for many of us!
But many of our harvest workers take it upon themselves and earn their money here to be able to provide a better life for their families at home or to build up their own existence. Unfortunately, we also lose dear employees who understandably look for a job after a few years in their home country, after their house is built or their company is up and running. They proudly show us their beautiful new house and their family, and then we can't be angry about their dismissal.
That harvest workers don't have to be able to do anything and don't have to have any knowledge is a myth: because many of our harvest workers are qualified workers or even students. But in their home country it is difficult for them to find well-paid work. The work here with us is not as primitive as one might think. Many jobs also require a lot of skill and thinking outside the box. So the employees always give us little information about the plant, for example, where there are a few aphids or caterpillars right now, after all, they also check every single plant every day while working and give out an alert early so that we are warned and take a closer look.
As EU citizens, they also have free access to the labor market in Europe and can work in all industries. This puts us in direct competition with industry, crafts or other fruit growers. So it is up to us to take care of the employees so that we always have enough.
Even though most of the harvest workers are employed for a short period of time, we always take out a private health insurance for them, so that they are well taken care of in case of illness. The employees who work here longer are, however, quite normal social insurance, like any other German worker, for example, with the AOK or Techniker Krankenkasse.