Fruit picker reckons he’s got a juicy little job
CITRUS picker Ian Hindle thinks he has the best job going.
Originally from Tweed Heads, Mr Hindle has been on the fruit-picking circuit for 14 years – picking citrus in Gayndah, strawberries in Caboolture, and cherries in Young.
“Peace, quiet and being left alone (and) out of the city (are the joys of the picking life),” he said.
He has his citrus picking tools: clippers, gloves, bag and hat.
Picking was simple, provided you “don’t snip the tops (and) don’t leave long stems”, he explained, working hard to fill four bins a day.
The regular worker at Riverton Citrus, will work the entire season there – starting with the lemons and Imperial mandarins in late December through to the end of the Murcott season in August.
The most noticeable change at Riverton Citrus this year was the change in the community of pickers, Mr Hindle said.
About 95% of this year’s pickers were contract workers, mostly Korean and Taiwanese.
A recent increase in theft and inconsistency had led to the decision, and “for less paperwork, it’s a great thing”, Riverton Citrus owner Narelle Emmerton said.
Trustworthy regulars like Mr Hindle continued to be employed, she said.
PICK OF THE CROP: Fruit picker Ian Hindle demonstrates how to pick mandarins: "Don't snip the tops; don't leave long stems" .