It was David Fevaleaki’s upbringing in Robinvale (Victoria), where his parents have worked in table grape and almond farms for over 30 years, that helped him understand the problems surrounding fruit farms labour hires.
David has created the Back Picker app, which will be available on the app store for both Apple and Android devices over the next few days. It is initially being trialled in North-West Victoria before being rolled out across Australia in the first half of 2020.
Back Picker founder David Fevaleaki / Image: Bendigo Advertiser
The app aims to bridge the gap between growers and pickers without the need for a third party labour provider. Farmers or employers are able to register their business and post jobs, with potential pickers able to find areas where they can work prior to arriving there, as well as accommodation options.
The app will allow growers the chance to see a potential worker’s certificates and VISA documents, and features a two-way rating system designed to assist both growers in finding reliable employees and employees to find ethical employers.
Victorian growers are strongly encouraged to check with their labour hire providers –or the online Labour Hire Authority register– that they have applied for a licence to provide workers for hire this season under the recent Victorian Labour Licensing Scheme.
From 30 October, 2019, growers must only use licensed labour hire providers, or providers that have applied for a licence and have not had their application refused, or face penalties of up to $120,000 for individuals or $500,000 for companies for using unlicensed providers.