Grower says it has the focus on worker welfare as it looks to secure summer berry pickers

Berry grower Hall Hunter has launched a major recruitment programme to entice seasonal workers to join.

Hall Hunter grows over 8,000 tonnes of British soft fruit, supplying all the major UK supermarkets with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. The company has a 70 per cent employee return rate among its fruit pickers, and says it offers above-average pay, full training, and high-standard on-site accommodation.

To prospective workers, Hall Hunter highlighted that it has three picturesque farms in the southern British countryside - Sheeplands Farm and Heathlands Farm in Berkshire, and Tuesley Farm in Surrey - and that its tabletop production system means workers can pick quality berries in greater volumes at a faster pace.

Each of its farms has convenient on-site accommodation that pickers can use for a small weekly rental fee, the company continued. The farm group has also introduced ‘picker villages’ that are made up of fully-furnished mobile homes that are well-maintained and feature superfast wifi, a variety of recreational activities, a canteen serving low-cost meals and a shop with eastern European products.

Free transport to local towns and supermarkets is provided, allowing seasonal workers to enjoy shopping and sightseeing on their days off.

Harry Hall, managing partner of the Hall Hunter group, said: “Fruit picking and harvest work is rewarding but it’s also quite physically demanding. This is why we strive to make sure our teams have time to relax and have fun during downtime.

“We work to develop a family atmosphere within all our farms to encourage new friendships to form. Within our on-site accommodation, we have a variety of recreational activities for everyone to enjoy, and frequently arrange trips and events.

“In addition, we regularly organise day trips to car boot sales, sporting tournaments, parties, and BBQs within each picker village. This is a fantastic way to make friends, and by getting involved, our pickers can really make the most out of their experience.”