Employer masterclass: lessons from Biteriot?

Fiona Hall, Biteriot, Caernarvon Cherry

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:

the inability of overseas backpackers … had led to staff shortages … they employed university and high school students …

“We had some good locals, but we [also] had some locals who did one day on, one day off [lacking] consistency,” ….

Mrs Hall said the government’s COVID-relief payments had not helped with the staff shortages.

“It wasn’t an incentive for people to go out and pick cherries,” she said.

https://www.westernmagazine.com.au/story/7077807/challenging-cherry-season-ends-after-export-staff-and-rain-issues/?cs=1549

What is really going on at Biteriot?

The writer wonders, given chief fruit picker Fiona Hall is involved in the phoenixing of 4 Bonny Glen companies in liquidation with DW Advisory – does Fiona feel her companies have paid sufficient tax to warrant the Government providing some kind of fruit growers exemption from the Covid relief package?

The writer also wonders what has changed?

At one stage, Biteriot had no trouble getting unemployed local teenagers to work picking fruit. A case in point is the worker known as Claudio Brown.

Claudio's payslip - Biteriot
Claudio’s payslip – Biteriot

Once upon a time Biteriot employed Claudio who, whilst still a minor, worked a total of 27.5hrs a day.

The writer observes that Claudio Brown paid no tax (perhaps the kind of incentive Fiona has in mind?)

Fiona wants to employ motivated staff like Claudio Brown???

The writer wonders why Fiona, an alleged Nuffield Scholar, doesn’t re-employ Claudio as a mentor to help “some locals” (as Fiona refers to them) lacking motivation…. Claudio works 27.5 hours per day.

Does Biteriot expect too much of locals?

Perhaps Mrs Hall, before criticising Orange locals, apart from employing Claudio Brown as a mentor, should she also perhaps consider a report from the employees perspective in today’s ABC (online)?

Extracted from a story on ABC – source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-14/when-backpackers-went-home-these-australians-tried-farm-work/13047062

The ABC article discusses potential motivational topics for Claudio Brown to coach SOME locals on:

What fruitpickers say (ABC):

ABC reported:

Nineteen-year-old Matthew Rolston bought a bus ticket … had the full backpacker experience — even staying in a hostel.

His first ever fruit-picking job was “actually rather enjoyable” at first.

“I kind of went through half a bottle of water, realised there was nowhere to fill it up and had to ration half a bottle of water for the rest of the day,” he said. …

Hostels cost more than wages earned

Things on the farm ended “rather sourly” for Mr Rolston when his wages for six 10-hour working days came through — three weeks after he first started.

A man sitting on the ground.

Luka said he made $280 in six days picking fruit.(Supplied)

“And then, when we did end up getting paid, we didn’t get the full amount,” he said.

“I was supposed to earn around $550, I ended up getting $450.

“There was no way that we’d be making over a $1,000.”

His friend Luka Wighton, who also worked on the farm, said he had gone along hoping for “a bit of an adventure” — but ended up feeling “a little bit taken advantage of”.

“It was exhausting work … I mean, I’d be fine with it, if it was more pay, but we were kind of at a loss,” he said.

His $280 wage — paid on piece-rate agreement — meant he paid more for his accommodation at the hostel than he earned, as did Mr Rolston.

“I didn’t expect to make much money, but I thought I’d go back with a little bit of a profit,” Mr Wighton said.

Chloe said she gets paid hourly and that her rate was about $14.

Jodie* was hesitant to share her tale of rejection under her real name … At times she said felt employers “danced around” the wage topic, tried to make the job sound “as unappealing as possible” or made “unreasonable” requests.

She said she was starting to think some farmers might prefer migrant workers to Australians because they would be less likely to complain about small wages.

“I feel like they don’t have the same sort of legal requirements around wages,” she said.

“I know a lot of them live on site and [employers] charge them accommodation and all that sort of stuff.”

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-14/when-backpackers-went-home-these-australians-tried-farm-work/13047062

What Biteriot employees are paid (SBS):

The writer observes Fiona Hall’s worker told SBS he was paid about $70 per day!

Not bad!

Biteriot - backpacker pay rates
Biteriot – backpacker pay rates – $70 per day …. …. see video @15m, 10seconds

Source: https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1745497667922/dateline-pandemic-farming-apples-and-oranges?action=play …. see video @15m, 10seconds

This is sharply different to the wage of under 18 year old local fruitpicker known as Claudio Brown – earning sometime $4800 per week (tax free) working 27.5 hours a day.

Despite the writer having an MBA, the writer would need to draw upon the expertise of Nuffield Scholar Fiona Hall to know which is the appropriate level of pay and incentive and what government incentives (or dis-incentives) should apply?

Claudio's payslip - Biteriot
Claudio’s payslip – Biteriot

What other Biteriot employees have to say?

The writer is unsure whether the below staff are working 27.5 hours per day or on a more conventional $70 per day pay rate? The writer notes however the following independent review on Biteriot via google:

Source: https://bit.ly/3sveACg

Want to know more? Like to enrol in a Claudio Brown motivational course? Like to get better productivity from your picking team?

Would you like to tell us confidentially about your experiences? Are you interested to join the Caernarvon / Biteriot Employee Wage Theft class action?

Do you know Claudio Brown?

Do you know if this is the voice of Claudio Brown?

is this the voice of Claudio Brown? #whoisclaudiobrown

Do you have information on government incentives Biteriot should get to subsidise its workforce?

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

To contact us with any confidential tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below:

Meet the Biteriot team: Claudio Cianfrano

Claudio Cianfrano

Meet Claudio Cianfrano, long-time member of the Biteriot & Caernarvon Cherry team. It is believed Claudio is also know as Claude Steven Cianfrano.

Claudio has been spraying the orchards since at least 2014 and previously worked for Bernard & Fiona Hall (although not officially on the Caernarvon Cherry payroll under his own name) at Caernarvon Cherry & Biteriot. Claudio is well in excess of 18 years old – the alleged age of Claudio Brown. Who is Claudio Brown?

Of recent times, since mid 2016, Claudio Cianfrano has had a working relationship with Guohao Chen of Topfruit China Australia. It is unknown whether Guohao Chen of Topfruit China Australia has any knowledge of who is Claudio Brown but it is believed Claudio Brown was the predecessor in the same job currently fulfilled by Claudio Cianfrano?

It is believed Claudio is also Claude Steven Cianfrano:

Click here to view ABN records.

Click here to view Dunn & Bradstreet records.

According to ABN records, Claudio or Claude trades as: PIETRO’S FRUIT AND VEG

Claudio, his brother Robert Cianfrano and others are allegedly in a partnership according to ABN records:

Click here to view ABN records of the partnership between Claudio and Robert Cianfrano (and others).

Audio of some of the rant (goes for 7 mins) can be heard here:

Claudio Cianfrano – Mad rant – Biteriot Caernarvon Cherry

This photography was recorded by dashcam on a public road in plain view of Claudio Cianfrano and Dave Evans.

Despite Dave Evans being a witness to Claudio’s rant – all caught on dashcam, over 7 mins long – Dave Evans told Constable Davis of Orange Police that Claudio Cianfrano wasn’t “trying to intimidate” (or words to that effect).

Youtube video (just part of the 7 minute rant) ….

Claudio Cianfrano – extract of Mad rant https://youtu.be/_lQW0X1iMuM

More happy snaps of Claudio and the team at Biteriot, Caernarvon Cherry & Topfruit China Australia.

Robert Cianfrano, brother of Claudio, was involved in a number of litigations concerning Sydney Markets and its privatisation, Freedom of Information Application/s and otherwise. Related reports can be viewed here:

Similarly, Claudio Cianfrano has written a number of correspondences to media entities. Below is a link in Claudio’s own words about his personal situation:

Would you like to tell us confidentially about your experiences? Do you know Claudio Brown? Do you know Claudio Cianfrano? Do you know if Claudio Brown knows Claudio Cianfrano? Do you know if Robert Cianfrano knows Claudio Brown?

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

To contact us with any confidential tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below:

Meet the Biteriot / Caernarvon team: Bruce Johnston

Biteriot's accountant - Bruce Johnston (pre conviction)

Meet valued team member of Biteriot & Caernarvon Cherry – Bruce Johnston.

Bruce was once described this way:

Bruce Alan Johnston was a senior accountant for Newcrest Mining Limited, involved in the development of the Cadia East Mine.

Between 1 July 2010 and 27 August 2013, Mr Johnston prepared 156 invoices in the name of Bramph Consultancy Services. But no such entity existed, and the funds were placed into bank accounts controlled by Johnston.

The invoices were purported to be for consultancy services in relation to the Cadia Mine project. The total amount of money Johnston transferred into his accounts was $1,257,847. He gradually gambled the funds away.

Johnston used online betting agencies, and a phone app to place his bets. At the height of his gambling spree, Johnston was placing up to 100 bets a day on several sports.

The fraud was discovered when someone noticed that no GST was being charged on the invoices. Newcrest senior management spoke with Johnston about the matter on 21 November 2013.

The father-of-two confessed to the crime, and was arrested and charged on 25 July 2014.

https://nswcourts.com.au/articles/gambling-addiction-does-not-lead-to-a-reduced-sentence/

To read more about Bruce’s career – please follow this link: click here.

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.

It is unknown if Bruce met and knows the identity of the mysterious Claudio Brown?

Would you like to tell us confidentially about your experiences?

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

To contact us with any confidential tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below:

Pamela Hall – Paymistress & bookkeeper

Pamela Hall

Meet the team at Bonny Glen (in liquidation), Caernarvon Cherry & Biteriot, Hall family matriarchPamela Hall, wife of Fred Hall, mother of Bernard Hall.

Pamela Hall, wife of Fred Hall, formerly of the Bonny Glen orchard, Orange now reside at the Astill Court facility, UPA, 68 Nile Street, Orange.

Pamela oversaw bookkeeping and compliance in the Hall empire for an extended period and, it is believed, her and Fred continue to retain a multi-million dollar personal financial interest in multiple companies and properties who’d in the Hall Orange Group. It is understood that Pamela might have met Claudio Brown?

Pamela Hall and Fred Hall continue to be partners and financial backers of Bonny Glen (in liquidation), Caernarvon Cherry & Biteriot.

Would you like to tell us confidentially about your experiences?

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

To contact us with any confidential tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below:

Meet the Biteriot / Caernarvon team: Paula Neill

Paula Neill - thief & paymistress

Meet valued team member of Biteriot & Caernarvon CherryPaula Neill.

Paula was once described this way:

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.

To read more about Paula’s career – please follow this link: click here.

Paula, who succeeded Pamela Hall as paymistress, was a trusted member of the Biteriot and Caernarvon team – handling payrolls, accounts and dealing with grower payments and receipts and worked alongside Bruce Johnston, Fiona Hall & others.

It is understood that Paula may have met and know the identity of the mysterious Claudio Brown and written his weekly cheques (Claudio doesn’t have a bank account – see profile)?

Paula’s career at Bathurst Information and Neighbourhood Centre was cut short in mirky circumstances as discussed in the above article – click here. Bathurst Information and Neighbourhood Centre describes itself as follows:

The Neighbourhood Centre is a not for profit charitable organisation that supports the Bathurst community and beyond.
Since 1976, we enable people to come together to strengthen, participate, develop and celebrate our community.

Through our staff and strong and valuable volunteer base we provide programs, activities, and support groups, and access to information, facilities and meeting spaces through Bathurst and Oberon Neighbourhood Centres.

Would you like to tell us confidentially about your experiences?

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

To contact us with any confidential tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below:

Who is Claudio Brown? Caernarvon Cherry payroll fun facts #3

Claudio is definitely a phenomenon – in fact anyone that is able to work 192hours a week – i.e. 27 hours a day is an intriguing individual – made all the more remarkable by the fact that Claudio Brown, according to his employer Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd isn’t yet an adult (he’s under 18).

Don’t believe me – check out his payslip below or employment profile.

Who is Claudio Brown?
Who is Claudio Brown?

Despite being a permanent employee (according to Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd), little else is known about this phenomenon – Claudio Brown. For instance, Claudio Brown apparently doesn’t have an address, phone number, tax file number, superfund or bank account (all payments understood to be via cheques payable as “cash”). Claudio Brown typically works 80+ hours a week apparently (untaxed).

Claudio Brown – earning great money (untaxed) for a minor.

Would you like to tell us confidentially about your experiences – did you work with Claudio Brown?

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

To contact us with any confidential tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below:

Caernarvon Cherry: payroll fun facts #2

Did you know for Caernarvon Cherry employees (and possible current Biteriot employees) there are more than 24 hours in the day?

Did you know that some Caernarvon Cherry employees (possibly current Biteriot employees) work, on average, 27.4 hours per day x 7 days a week?

Take the example of minor Claudio Brown, employee of Caernarvon Cherry (possibly current Biteriot employee). If Claudio Brown is a ‘real‘ person he is or was a minor, i.e. an under 18 year old working 27.4 hours a day billed to our client and Assignor Homeward Bound Holdings Pty Ltd.

Below is the extract of the imaginary employee Claudio Brown’s private information ….

Click here to view Claudio’s pay slip for the 27.4 hours x 7 days = 192.25 hour working week.

Would you like to tell us confidentially about your experiences?

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

To contact us with any confidential tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below:

Dear Fred re: Caernarvon Cherry’s gigantic payroll fraud

centrelink

9/1/2021

Below is an extract of a letter written several years ago (perhaps around 2017) by Andrew Gartrell to the Hall family patriach, Fred Hall and no doubt his wife Pam Hall, parents of Bernard Hall of Caernarvon Cherry and Biteriot fame which goes into a series of dubious transactions or activities conducted by Bernard & Fiona Hall and through their company at the time Caernarvon Cherry.

Would you like to tell us confidentially about your experiences with the Hall family, Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd or Biteriot Operations Pty Ltd?

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

Dear Fred and family,

Firstly I must thankyou Fred for the wonderful times I had in my teens with polocrosse teams that you facilitated and arranged for us. I remember most fondly practise days at Towac Park, carnivals across the length and breadth of the state and your various mentoring and simple wisdoms that you provided us all at that time. I really believe you had a great influence on my early life and my sister and I were very lucky to have become involved with your family at that time. 

Curiously through my 20’s / 30’s and early 40’s I saw little of the family except for Bernard and Tim on occasion through our involvement in the fruit industry and neighbours at Melrose. As neighbours Tim and I never really ‘clicked’ and I always felt he had some point or other to win with me. I still enjoyed catching up with David every now and then and the more things change the more they stay the same and I still regard David as a close friend. 

Around 5 years I ago I became progressively more involved with Bernard and Fiona and their fruit packing business at Caernarvon. Initially I regarded both Bernard and Fiona as close friends and confidents. I enjoyed visiting them and slowly slowly without realising I got drawn into their web of deception. Curiously David warned me one time 3 or 4 years ago “Garbs be careful these 2 (Fiona and Bernard) are just after your ideas and really don’t give a shit about you’’ – I laughed off David’s words but of course in time I was to understand how he was spot on with his judgement.

Today I am living in the Philippines operating a modest fruit brokerage business near Clark in the Philippines. We trade US, South African, Egyptian, and Moroccan, Australian fresh produce (apples, citrus, stonefruits etc) across around 10 Asian countries principally Indonesia, China and Hong Kong.  I have travelled around the world numerous times in this role (the African continent 4 times in the past 12 months for instance). I live in a modest house with a nice young girlfriend and my past life in Australia does at times seem a long time ago but the actions of Bernard and Fiona and perhaps a small degree Tim have cost me well more than a million dollars in unpaid debts, unhonoured contracts, stolen IP and lost assets built upon 30 years of hard work and sacrifice from my side. The core dishonesty of the Bonnyglenn and Caernarvon companies that drove the fraudulent payroll system / Centrelink scams that these companies relied upon to source cheap labour has further unwittingly (perhaps) seen my autistic son Richard given a life sentence of imprisonment in a padded cell house with chipboard windows without a view.

All nonsense you may well say Fred but please read on and see the other side of your golden haired boy Bernard and what along with his crafty alcoholic wife Fiona have done to me ….

  1. In December 2013 I harvested what I believed to be the cherry crop of a lifetime. In a year when cherries were in short supply with solid pricing and I had a big crop exceeding 300,000 kg. There was no rain and the fruit was clean and averaged 26mm with more 28mm than 24mm. It was Caernarvon<