The number of Thai berry pickers arriving in Finland this week is expected to reach a record high. Thai authorities have allowed more than 4,000 berry pickers to work in Finland in 2022, which is 500 more than in previous years.
The North Ostrobothnia TE employment office coordinates the arrival of the berry pickers. Service manager Mari Tuomikoski said it is not yet possible to confirm whether the quota allowed by the Thai authorities will be filled. Among the large berry firms, Polarica Berries and Fruits will bring 1100 berry pickers to Finland, and Marja Bothnia Berries will welcome 900 migrant workers.
Tuomikoski from the TE employment office said that several authorities, ministries and Thai authorities are involved in planning for the berry pickers' arrival. "Before the picking season starts, kick-off events will be held for these companies in cooperation with the Ministry of Employment and the Economy as well as officials from Thailand and the embassy.”
Thai pickers are important for Finland's berry sector. Two years ago, it was feared the entire berry harvest would be lost when Thai authorities restricted pickers’ entry to Finland due to the pandemic.