About the work
We grow top quality strawberries, we normally pick our fruit between April and November each year but we cannot harvest our fruit without good pickers. While you may be on a working holiday, we are not a holiday camp and expect all of our employees to work hard. However, life is not about all work and no play: we provide you with excellent leisure and recreation facilities.
Every year we employ about 300 seasonal workers, who come from mainly 2 different countries, Bulgaria and Romania. We can only employ workers who have the right to work in the UK. Some employees are invited back for another season having proved themselves in the previous season to be reliable and hardworking individuals. The returnees in turn set an example for new workers with regards to work practice and life in England.
Most of the work will be picking fruit by hand in covered tunnels, which provide protection from wind and weather. Once the fruit is picked it is checked for quality on the field and then transported to our pack house and put into our commercial fridge within 2 hours of being picked. This ensures our high-quality standards are maintained.
The work is very hard and involves much bending, twisting and lifting so you will need to have good physical fitness.
You will work in a team of up to 50 people. In addition to picking fruit, there are other tasks such as tunnel construction, irrigation installation, maintenance, husbandry and general production work that has to be undertaken throughout the year.
All of our production is now grown in substrate and on table tops. This allows us to precisely monitor and control the growing conditions and most importantly allows easy access for picking the fruit. These speed up the process and eliminates having to bend over to pick the crop, ensuring a better working environment for all.
Hours of work
We normally work a five or six-day week for no more than 8 hours per day. The hours you will work each day is determined by crop, weather and customer demand. Your harvest manager decides on the length of the working day and no harvesting takes place unless the field assistants are present.
The majority of the work on our farm is paid on a piecework basis. Piecework means you get paid for every kilogramme of fruit that you pick. The harder you work the more you will be paid. This system means that you could earn more than the UK minimum hourly rate of pay as determined by the UK agricultural wages board.
We recommend that you open a bank account in your own country before leaving so that you can arrange credit transfers direct to that account whilst you are in the UK. When you arrive at the farm you will be issued a pre-paid Barclaycard or other type of card, which will enable you to withdraw your money from the bank`s cash machine and pay in the shops. The UK bank system is very safe and secure. Wages are normally paid directly into your bank account once a week or when you leave the farm, or on request.
The Homme, Hom Green, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire HR9 7TF
E.C. Drummond is located at The Homme in Hom Green, Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire HR9 7TF. We are a 5-minute drive from the bottom of the M50 motorway
M50 Motorway Junction – 4.4 miles (7.1 km)
Nearest station is Hereford – 13 miles (20.8km)
Alt Gloucester Station – 15.4 miles (24.8 km)
London Heathrow – 118.4 miles (166km)
Birmingham Int’l – 45 miles (72k)
Bristol airport – 40 miles (64.4 km)
Cardiff airport – 42 miles (67.2 km)
It is of utmost importance to the Farm Directors and Managers that we receive feedback about what we undertake and whether there are issues associated with our actions.
We request that all functional areas identify a worker to represent them at a Steering Group meeting which is held every two weeks.
This provides all workers the ability to raise points both positive and negative through the Steering Group to Directors and Managers.