Hort staff get behind workplace changes

There are massive changes, but the team across the country have come on boardStaff at LeaderBrand have adapted at work to make sure they are keeping themselves, and their workmates, safe from Covid-19 infection.

The horticultural business has farms at Chertsey and Gisborne and employs around 200 permanent staff nationwide, with an additional 300 people during summer harvest.

At Chertsey about 40 staff have been busy harvesting broccoli and lettuce destined for the supermarket shelves. There are also around six staff in Christchurch who are working in sales and able to work from home.

LeaderBrand chief executive Richard Burke said it was a busy time, but nationwide the biggest onus on staff was around the way they operated.

‘‘There are massive changes, but the team across the country have come on board,’’ he said.

‘‘The guys have really taken on board the safety side of having to continue to work each day.’’

Mr Burke said the lockdown had created a ‘‘big challenge’’, not only in how harvest operations were carried out, but also with market demand.

‘‘There is no real pattern to it,’’ he said, of consumers’ buying trends.

‘‘The market is completely different.’’

The team were working on harvesting and ‘‘so far, so good, we’re on track’’, and even with strict harvest and distribution rules in place, due to branding, there had been minimal waste .

‘‘We are lucky we have a team dedicated to turn up to work each day when others are stuck at home.’’

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