Seasonal Agricultural Workers

British berry farmers employ around 30,000 seasonal workers

British berry farmers employ around 30,000 seasonal workers from the UK and overseas every year to pick and pack soft fruit, normally from April until November. 

Fruit picking and harvest jobs can be demanding, but our members ensure seasonal workers are well treated and fairly rewarded for their hard work. In fact, picking and harvest work is typically better paid than hospitality work in the UK.


Hours of work

As fruit needs to be harvested when it is cool, applicants do need to be willing to get up early and work at least five and half days a week. Picking tends to start at around 6am and continue, with breaks, until 3pm. 

Workers will usually be picking or packing at least 32 hours per week and overtime is often available.


Physical work

To be a fruit picker you do need to be physically active, but it’s a lot easier than it used to be. Today, almost all the work is done standing up because soft fruit is usually grown on tabletops. That means there is no need to bend down which makes it a lot easier and quicker for pickers.



Our members farms pay very competitive rates. Seasonal workers are paid at least the National Living Wage (£10.42 per hour in 2023 and £11.44 from April 2024). However, typical earnings are much higher than this as productivity bonuses are available at most farms.


Working conditions

Our members pride themselves on safe and comfortable environments for their workers. All British berry farms are regularly audited by The Ethical Trading Initiative, SEDEX to ensure that workers are treated fairly.


Accommodation and facilities

Our members farms provide safe, convenient, and comfortable subsidised accommodation for workers to stay during their time on the farm. Accommodation costs which usually cover heating, electricity and Wi-Fi are generally much cheaper than renting elsewhere. Furthermore, our members’ farms usually provide fun activities outside of work like sport tournaments, BBQs and parties to forester a good environment and encourage integration.


Training and career opportunities

Our members offer full training to all their workers and, as an industry, we’re proud to say that on average 60% of seasonal workers keep coming back to work on their farms year on year. 

There are also career progression opportunities for the best workers. A large proportion of our members report that many people in their management teams started with them as seasonal workers.