2023 proved to be a somewhat turbulent year for many in the agricultural industry, with growing economic pressures facing many and a stormy political scene, many are glad to see the year out. With the growing pressures facing the industry, including a lull in employment rates and unstable weather, 2023 felt like the year we were all under pressure. But, it isn’t all gloomy, 2023 saw New Zealand’s farmers and growers rise to the challenge of a post covid food supply chain and inflation costs. Many farmers tackling the issues faced with a back-to-basics approach, reducing business costs and implementing the right team for their business. Agriculture still remains a pinnacle of New Zealand, contributing 16% overall to the country’s GDP.

We started the year off strong, with our first UK candidate arriving on the 9th of January, our recruitment team was hands-on over the Christmas period to help farmers out with their staffing needs. The following months saw a steady stream of candidates arriving from the UK and Ireland, with many slotting in with our current employers to provide support through to Autumn, with some candidates staying into the winter.

As Autumn rolled around, the calving season started and we were once again on hand to provide support to many of our employers, welcoming some new employers onto our books. June through to August saw a boost in candidate arrivals, it also marked the start of our partnerships with some British Agricultural Universities offering placements to agricultural students in New Zealand. We are committed to being able to offer placements for University students, with students offering an abundance of experience and knowledge to many farmers.

As we moved swiftly into the start of the contracting season, our employers took advantage of our multi-candidate deal, effectively getting 3 candidates for the price of 2! We look forward to running more promotions this year to help more farmers access workers. Registering your interest early for contracting workers helps secure the best possible candidates for your business.

This year, Ag Work NZ doubled our intake numbers compared to 2022. We have seen candidates head out to employers who have worked with us in previous seasons as well as new ones. Candidates headed out to contractors, vegetable growers, dairy farmers, vineyards, and livestock farms and we are always open to new opportunities from employers.

With 2024 fast approaching we thank all our clients for choosing us to help with their recruitment needs. The employment market in the agricultural industry is proving to be a tricky territory currently. Still, we are optimistic that the coming months will see an upturn in labour needs and we will be ready to fill those voids. We wish you all a happy New Year and look forward to working with you in 2024.