Pandemic heavily impacts foreign workers coming to Australia

Due to labor shortages, Queensland farmers have been forced to trash up to $42 million worth of crops as international tourists continue to avoid the country following Covid-19. Only 15,000 backpackers are currently employed in Australia, down from 130,000 prior to the pandemic’s closure of international borders. As a result, there is a major lack of unskilled laborers in the agriculture and horticultural industries, resulting in significant food waste.

Growcom policy and advocacy manager Richard Shannon: “It hasn’t improved… we continue to see fewer backpackers in the country than was the case before Covid. We do have a shortfall in our unskilled labor pool, those who complete our important harvesting roles. There is an incredibly tight labor market, and it’s difficult to recruit into agriculture and horticulture… they’re not as desirable as other industries.”


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