According to newshub.co.nz, the two major issues are a lack of consistent agricultural work placements for Tasmanian workers and Australia’s reputation for backpacker exploitation.
Meanwhile, New Zealand growers who have been struggling with a labour shortage for a while now, are turning to machines to make the most of a forecast boom in the horticulture industry this year.
The versatile robots, designed by companies like Robotic Plus, aren't restricted to picking apples - a tractor-like machine is currently being used to pollinate kiwifruit orchards. It's automated and uses the GPS co-ordinates of a chosen area to work its way through.
Robotic products are likely to have a big impact on orchards throughout New Zealand, but there's the potential for even bigger business in places like the United States, where the apple market is 10-12 times bigger.