A commitment to expanding its New Zealand apple business will see T&G Global recruit 150 permanent staff members.
T&G Global’s director of operations, Craig Betty, said the new roles have been created to help the company meet increasing global demand.
“Our apples business has an ambitious growth strategy in place to grow our premium Envy and Jazz apple brands to meet worldwide demand. To achieve this vision, it’s critical we have a talented, passionate and supported team who are empowered to be their best,” said Betty.
“Despite our very best efforts to recruit locally last year, the 2020/21 season was extremely challenging, with limited availability of skilled people ready to work in the regions, combined with a reduced number of Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) team members.
“The new roles we’re creating have been developed to help us deliver on our future growth objectives, whilst also helping retain our existing talent and provide people with an opportunity to further build their skills and capabilities within our operations.”
The new roles are being advertised internally amongst T&G’s casual and contracted seasonal workforce, as well as externally in key apple growing regions.
New employees will move through harvest and post-harvest roles, developing a thorough understanding of both operational and growing processes. This will include spending time developing T&G’s 2D orchards, which are part of the company’s pathway to automation.
“Across our growing operations, we’re re-developing our orchards to 2D planting structures to support the efficient use of automation and robotics in the future,” said Betty.
“We’re committed to our roadmap to automation and continually optimising our supply chain to increase productivity. By ensuring we have skilled team members in our operations, we’ll be able to help fast-track this process.”
While the new roles will provide support at the peak of the apple season, Betty said T&G would still rely on seasonal staff to complete its harvest.
“Recruitment remains a critical focus for the upcoming 2021/22 season,” he explained. “This season our team did an incredible job hiring more than 950 New Zealanders to work alongside a reduced number of RSE team members. However, at the peak of the season we were still short around 300 people per day, which meant we left a significant amount of fruit on trees.
“With these new positions, we expect our productivity to increase as we build our team’s skills and capabilities, however, we’ll still require additional seasonal team members to join us throughout the harvest.”