Griffith farmers are confident they have enough workers to handle the upcoming spring harvest. According to Griffith-based cherry farmer and PND Produce director Paul Rapone, up until now, the backpacker shortage had been noticeable but hadn't affected his business. Despite difficulties last year, Rapone said he had plenty of workers available ahead of cherry picking season in November.
"It's a concern every year, but it's too early to be losing any hair over it right now," Rapone said. "If I was relying on backpackers then it would be a concern because they're just not around. Worker numbers are always going to be determined by crop load and working conditions."