Queensland strawberry industry offers $100k in cash to entice harvest workers

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association is offering $100,000 in a bid to entice workers to get involved in the winter harvest. In an effort to solve the labor problems, mainly caused by the pandemic, the QSGA has announced a plan to turn the harvest season into something like a competition.

QSGA president Adrian Schultz said: "What we're asking people to do is work hard and play hard. We're encouraging anybody who's interested to have a go at picking strawberries, come to Queensland during winter and enjoy our season. The longer you work on a farm the more chances you have to go in a draw to win $100,000 at the end of the season."

Workers will be able to earn "points" that will count as entries into a draw. "Everyone goes into the draw, it's selected by a computer," Schultz told abc.net.au. "Ten people are chosen and each of those 10 people will have the chance to play for $100,000. We'll have a little strawberry patch — there will be 100 envelopes in that strawberry patch. One of those envelopes will have $100,000 in it and every other envelope will have $1,000 in it."

The industry has enlisted the help of a third party to take care of the logistics and is using an insured promotion and its advertising budget to fund the prize. It is also planning monthly prizes, including weekend or week-long holidays to local tourist destinations that can be taken once the season is over.

Shultz said the industry will needed about 7,000 workers to pick Queensland's strawberries over winter.

Photo source: Dreamstime.com

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