Employment breaches and labour exploitation can be a widespread problem in the kiwifruit industry, with 94 breaches of minimum employment standards found in the Bay of Plenty last year.
However, one local business believes they have the solution to the problem.
Kiwihort Solutions Limited has developed a web-based orchard management tool designed to strengthen the link between kiwifruit orchard owners, managers, contractors and workers. The founder of the company, Tajinder Singh, has more than 10 years' experience working with orchard owners and workers, and has put in all of his industry knowledge to develop Kiwihort.
“We strive to provide a cloud-based platform from where the farmers or the orchard owners can easily manage the day-to-day activity on their orchards, while the workers get an opportunity to earn fairly and are provided training about their legal rights so that they don't get caught in the vicious cycle of exploitation,” says business manager Shlok Kant.
He says despite people doing most of their day-to-day activities online, New Zealand kiwifruit orchards are still using paper for their work management, which at times can be easily manipulated.
Kiwihort provides an online payroll service that allows workers to log their hours, with all data saved and recorded, to ensure fewer corners can be cut. It can tell employers when they're not paying the minimum wage and need to top their workers up, thus avoiding accidental employment breaches.
Growers can also see exactly what their monthly costs go towards.
For more information or a demonstration, call 021 231 2809 or email firstname.lastname@example.org