Soft fruit growers have seen a massive response to their national appeal for jobless people to pick berries in Angus, Perthshire and Fife this summer.
The Arbroath-based Angus Growers co-operative received 648 applications in just 24 hours following their call for 3,000 pickers, and NFU Scotland’s dedicated online employment portal was viewed more than 4,600 times in four days.
Stewarts of Tayside finance director Doug Baxter said applications had come from across Scotland from people of all ages and backgrounds.
“It’s great that the applications are coming in, but one of the challenges is that people are looking for work right now and we’re not needing labour until mid-May onwards,” he said.
“There are logistical issues in the weeks and months ahead but it is still our intention to proceed with planting as usual.”
Ringlink, the farm business co-operative based in Laurencekirk and Cupar, had also appealed for summer workers but they have withdrawn their advert after many of their temporary employees were laid off from non-essential work in quarries and forestry operations.