For the past number of years Gibbons Recruitment have been supplying a team of people for harvesting Tenderstem Broccoli to Ireland’s top producer; with farms across several locations in North County Dublin.
The hand harvested Tenderstem Broccoli is supplied to some of the country’s leading retailers, as well as to wholesale markets and food service companies. Typically, the first Irish harvest of Tenderstem Broccoli takes place in mid-June and will continue right into early November.
We met with the farm director in early January 2020 to put a recruitment plan in place and decided for this year’s harvest to source workers from the Ukraine. Gibbons Recruitment had an agent in the Ukraine who was going to recruit workers on our behalf, we also considered travelling to the Ukraine to meet the workers before they travelled to Ireland. Gibbons Recruitment also made a submission at this time to the IFA that would support their efforts in making work permits available for the horticultural industry by the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation.
The best laid plans…
Forward to March and the outbreak of Covid-19, the pandemic which put the country in lockdown. Our plan of bringing workers in from the Ukraine was just not going to be an option.
Pandemic or no pandemic the Tenderstem Broccoli was planted and would need to be harvested. Gibbons Recruitment ran an intensive recruitment campaign and with our unique experience and knowledge of the horticultural industry we recruited six people to start work on the farm when required on June 22nd.
The crop is abundant and the harvest is good; additional staff are supplied to work on the farm on an on-going basis as the need arises during the harvest season.
Gibbons Recruitment knows that flexibility and speed of response are critical and delivers within the timeframe demanded by the horticultural industry.