AgriExchange Pty Ltd (Costas), Australia’s largest agricultural/horticultural employer, will recruit around 150 workers to work on citrus farms and 60-70 Fijians for harvesting in the coming months.
Permanent Secretary for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Osea Cawaru said the majority of workers selected by Costas are returning workers, who were employed in previous years.
Mr. Cawaru, on behalf of the Fijian Government, thanked the Australian Government and the employer for choosing to recruit in Fiji.
He expressed his sincere appreciation for the employer’s commitment and plans for the recruitment of Fijians as well as the return of Costas employees.
“The majority of workers selected by Costas are returning workers, who were employed in previous years,” Mr. Cawaru said.
“They plan to expand their recruiting size in the coming months with a focus on community outreach, to identify suitable candidates,” he said.
President and CEO of South Australia’s Pacific Islands Council, Tukini Tavui, highlighted the Council’s work, which focuses on connecting and developing the Pacific Island community in South Australia through through various empowerment initiatives as well as support to Australian employers and the Pacific Labor Facility (PLF) on training and capacity building for seasonal workers.
Mr. Tavui further highlighted the need for Fiji to strengthen ties with the Pacific Islands Council to empower people and connect with the community for a sustainable model.
The Fijians who have been recruited by Costas are based in Renmark, South Australia, where they pick and pack citrus fruits.
Costas is back in Fiji for the fourth time this week, undergoing medical tests, job interviews and employment tests.
Costas has operations across Australia and focuses on different products such as grapes, citrus fruits and mushrooms, to name a few.