Why are some Biteriot employees paid $70 per day, and other Biteriot workers working 27.5 hours day, 192 hours per week? What is the right level of employee remuneration / incentive in a pandemic, what can other farmers learn from Nuffield Scholar, Fiona Hall and master motivator Claudio Brown?
Whine or wine?
Renowned winetaster, Fiona Hall of Biteriot recently complained about the local workforce in Orange, NSW saying:
Bruce, who partially succeeded Pamela Hall in accounts, was a trusted member of the Biteriot and Caernarvon team – handling accounts and dealing with grower payments and receipts and worked alongside fellow convicted fraudster Paula Neill, plus Fiona Hall & others.
A WOMAN who embezzled more than $40,000 from the Bathurst Information and Neighbourhood Centre has been convicted of stealing property as a clerk sentenced to a nine month Intensive Correctional Order after appearing in Bathurst Local Court last week.
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A number of aspects of the article warrant fact checking:
Alleged fact: Mainland Australia is well placed to supply cherries to China
False – As per the following industry press articles, Southern Hemisphere cherry producer (Chile – with its ideal desert climate, low or no rainfall, low cost of production and favourable market access – they are not in a trade war with China) produces over 300,000 tonnes of fresh cherries per annum whilst mainland Australia produces around 15,000 tonnes in the same growing season. Chile ship, as the industry press articles attached report, cherries by sea that by 12 December 2020 had already landed in China >1000 x 40’ sea containers. In contrast, Orange NSW loaded zero sea shipments this year, nor last year nor indeed ever. Orange has not loaded even 1 sea shipment in the past 5 years.
Recent industry press articles (confirming that Chile raised sales by 38% whilst Fiona and Biteriot export sales fell by 75% include:
6/1/2021 – Challenging Orange cherry season ends after export, staff and rain issues | Central Western Daily |
Alleged fact: Orange NSW/Cabonne is a good place to grow cherries
False – the rainfall is way too high to reliably grow (quality or competitive) cherries on the tablelands of NSW. Alternatively the high desert production areas of Chile, with irrigation water supplied by extensive snow melt rivers receive around 6 inches of rain p/a, with no damaging rains during the growing season. The elevated areas of the Canobolas growing area west of Orange NSW in Cabonne receives almost 7x more rain than Chile making cherry growing west of Orange NSW a high risk proposition, with profits likely perhaps once every 3 or 4 years?
Alleged fact: Obtaining labour to harvest cherries is difficult
True – it is not viable to harvest cherries in Australia if Australian cherry pickers earn $25 per hour when Chilean producers pay under $9 per hour for harvest labour.