Fruit Picking Jobs in France

Looking for a fruit picking job in France? Perhaps you see fruit picking as a way to earn holiday cash in France? Here we provide useful information & facts about fruit picking work in France.

Fruit picking jobs are probably the easiest job to obtain in France without the need for a residence permit, or catre de sejour. Although you technically do need a residence permit to get a seasonal job fruit picking in France, it is widely known that the authorities turn a blind eye to this in France if you are working on a fruit picking job. This is because the large agrictultural sector in France, which constitutes 10% of the economy, needs 100,000 extra workers for only a month long period every year during the grape harvests.

Grape Harvest Time in France

The grape harvest in France is by far the largest annual harvest that is vital to the agricultural industry in France. Although the precise dates of grape harvest across France vary, harvests generally begin in mid September and continue to mid or late October. Recent years have seen an increase in automated grape harvesting using machines which has led to a decrease in fruit picking jobs in France. However, many of the more exclusive grape growing regions refuse to employ automated methods and still rely on hand picking the grapes.

Fruit Picking Seasonal Jobs

The exact harvest dates in France depend on a variety of conditions such as weather and atmospheric conditions. The exact date of a grape harvest is only decided by the prefecture only a few days before the harvest begins. The harvest on any given grape plantation lasts about a fortnight. If you’re looking for a fruit picking job during the grape harvest it’s a good idea to be in town at least a week before the harvest begins.

Fruit Picking Job Conditions

The level of pay for fruit picking jobs is not high. In fact some employers pay below minimum wage if you don’t have a residence permit because they know you cant complain to the French government. Employers on most fruit picking jobs will provide food for you to eat during the working day; however, very few employers provide lodgings. Those fruit picking jobs in France that do include lodgings usually consist of a bed in a dorm room or a room in a house if you’re lucky.

Finding a Fruit Picking Job

There are two ways to find a fruit picking job in France. The official way is to contact the national employment agency in France, the APNE, by written letter sometime after June. They’ll send you a questionnaire and the answers you provide help them assign you a suitable job. However, the majority of people who work on fruit picking jobs just turn up in a region around harvest time and start asking around with the locals. Of course, it helps if you speak a little French.

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