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A new Horticultural Development Company (HDC)-funded DVD, created as an aid for soft fruit growers to train pickers, has been released to industry.
Produced in direct response to calls from growers, the multi-language DVD has been translated into Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Russian, Slovakian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish, helping to cater for the large number of overseas workers currently employed on fruit farms in the UK.
Entitled Champion soft fruit picker, the DVD follows the success of an earlier edition focusing solely on strawberry crops, which was based on knowledge gained from HDC project SF 71 (Reducing strawberry labour costs by increasing picking speeds and improving harvest efficiency), along with further work on other soft fruit crops.
This latest release, produced by Chris Rose of Chris Rose Associates, now includes additional information on improving picking of strawberry on table top systems, as well as raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
HDC Knowledge Transfer Manager, Scott Raffle says, "The HDC is pleased to provide this new DVD which has been up-dated to include guidance for strawberries on table tops, along with raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Growers have used the original DVD to train strawberry pickers and they have been clamouring for this new DVD to provide training for new strawberry growing systems and the other main soft fruit crops."
Tim Place of Place UK, Norfolk says, "This is a magnificent DVD which is an invaluable tool to train our picking staff. It will not only help them to help themselves by increasing picking speeds, but ensure that our fruit is picked to the highest standards, ensuring good hygiene and optimum quality. I am particularly pleased that the DVD has been translated into so many languages. I have distributed the DVD to our harvest management staff who will start to use it immediately to train the newly arriving pickers."
Growers who haven't yet received a copy of the DVD should contact HDC administrator Louise Arculus on 024 7647 8661 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Horticultural Development Company, please visit www.hdc.org.uk