Unlimited supplies of free meat, milk, honey and firewood is being given out in order to attract workers to join the farm during this current challenging time. Despite still facing the consequences of the outbreak, New Zealand was praised by many for how it handled the pandemic.
The country’s borders were closed earlier this year. However, New Zealand is currently in a recession after its economy shrunk by 12%. The hard border shutdown and lockdowns left a major impact on the Kiwi economy – one which tends to be dependent on migrant labour, including in tourism, horticulture and farming.
New Zealand is the world’s largest exporter of dairy, amounting over NZ$15 billion to the country’s economy and produces 3% of milk globally.
However, there are not many interested in joining the sector – despite all effort made. Wayne Langford, the dairy spokesperson for Federated Farmers said, “It’s a tough job; we’re out in the elements, and farms can be quite isolated and away from the urban centres. They’re the main challenges. We did have quite a reliance on overseas staff, and it has been quite a strain on the system. The foreign staff in the country are also wanting to get home.”
“Everyone is looking for employees at the moment. We haven’t fared as badly as the tourism industry, but we’re not out of the woods yet, businesses are battling.”
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