A hand-held scanner, AgPick records pickers' activities including paid and unpaid breaks.

AgPick Technology has reported increased interest in its labour management tool, AgPick, following changes to Australia’s Horticulture Award.

Announced by Australia’s Fair Work Commission last week, the changes stipulate growers must record pieceworkers' hours and pay a minimum hourly rate.

“Change is coming and the good news is there's technology such as ours to support growers to make that change more easily than they might think,” said Henrietta Child, chief executive of AgPick Technology. “Our technology is already helping growers to become compliant.”

Child said AgPick has been designed to provide “easy and accurate” recording of time bookings and activity.

The hand-held scanner can be used for both indoor and outdoor activities, including the logging of paid and unpaid breaks.

“Its key purpose is to help growers manage their labour more efficiently,” Child explained. “It easily records hourly and piece-rate activities and enables growers to easily move workers between piece-rate and hourly rate payments.

“AgPick records data at the source so it is accurate and efficient. Worker data is visible immediately which supports early intervention by managers to address and resolve workplace productivity issues.

“This will be the catalyst for growers to become more organised and accountable and it will reduce inefficiency during the national labour shortage. We expect there will be an urgent need from producers who currently rely on paper-based systems or counting apps to become compliant quickly.”

AgPick has been successfully used by a number of Australian berry producers for several years. Child said interest in the technology is coming from a wide range of fresh produce categories, as growers worked to understand the implications of the changes to the Horticulture Award.

“It can be applied to any fresh produce line and over any number of sites,” she explained. “It's quick and easy to implement and priced to be affordable.”