A free video designed to help fruit pickers develop essential skills has been produced for fruit growers by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
Access to labour is a serious challenge for the horticulture sector, so developing and retaining staff is essential.
As well as outlining simple techniques and safety tips, the Becoming a Champion Fruit Picker induction video is expected to increase productivity and reduce accidents at work.
In addition to English, it has been translated into seven languages including Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian and Russian, in order to meet the needs of the diverse horticultural workforce.
Experienced grower and productivity expert Chris Rose said: “The Champion Pickers video demonstrates exactly what best practice means when harvesting valuable crops including strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, empowering workers to collectively deliver superb results.
“We need to care for our labour and our workforce in the same way as we do our crops; starting colleagues off in the business with a solid induction gives them the nutrients to support long-term commercial growth.
“Research has shown that a 20% saving in labour costs becomes achievable by developing champion performers.”
AHDB horticulture knowledge exchange manager Scott Raffle added: “Once growers have attracted staff, it is important to inspire them to stay and do their best while they work.
“When workers first enter the business they generally want to do well to impress their boss and set the building blocks for a potential pay rise or a promotion in the future.
“When they have that motivation, the Becoming a Champion video provides clarity on what delivering fruit-picking best practice means in real terms.”