Finns turn to berry picking as virus shortages bite

  • Tuesday 07, July 2020 11:53 AM
Sharjah24 – AFP: 350 Finnish workers pick strawberries on the country's largest strawberry farm, alongside 150 Ukrainian pickers, after coronavirus travel restrictions led Finnish farmers to recruit seasonal workers domestically for the first time in decades.
Finland usually welcomes 16,000 foreign agricultural workers during the berry harvest, but this year only a third of that number came, all from Ukraine. However demand among Finns for working on the farms has been high, in part thanks to higher levels of joblessness since the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Commenting on this, Vesa Koivistoinen, Strawberry Farmer said, "We've only had foreign workers for the last 22 years, but now because of the exceptional coronavirus situation we couldn't get enough pickers from Ukraine, so as soon as coronavirus came to Finland we started to recruit Finnish workers."