Fruit Picking Jobs in Canada: All You Need to Know!
Do you love the outdoors and spending time in nature? Are you looking for fun seasonal work that will make you money during the summer? If so, fruit picking jobs in Canada may be perfect for you!
Every year, Canadians from all across the country and foreign workers flock to fruit picking farms to help harvest delicious fruit.
Not only is it a great way to spend your summer days and make extra money, but it’s also a fun way to meet new people from all over the world, as many fruit picking jobs attract workers from many different countries.
So if you’re looking for an exciting new adventure, consider fruit-picking jobs in Canada.
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Which Fruits are Available to Pick in Canada and When?
Depending on the time of year, you can find different kinds of fruit to pick in Canada.
In the spring, rhubarb and cherries are one of the first fruits to come into the season.
If you’re in British Columbia, you can head to the Okanagan Valley to start cherry picking as early as May.
Strawberries also start ripening in May.
In July and August, most of the fresh produce kicks into gear. Summer is especially great for picking raspberries, and apricots, while peaches, nectarines and plums start to appear closer to late summer and early fall.
As fall arrives, apples become the main fruit to pick. There are many different varieties of apples in Canada – from the classic Granny Smith and Gala to the more unique Honeycrisp and Fuji. Pears, pumpkins and grapes are also in season in the fall.
What are the Benefits of Fruit Picking in Canada?
Fruit picking is a great way to earn some extra money and spend time outdoors during the summer months.
The work setting is not crazy demanding, and sometimes you can often choose your own hours as long as you pick the requested amount.
Plus, there’s nothing quite like eating fresh fruit that you’ve picked yourself!
Another benefit is meeting new people. Together, you can explore the country and earn some money whilst on your fruit picking adventure.
Additionally, some orchards or farms offer on site housing options so you save on your rent.
Apple Picking in Canada
Personally, we spent an amazing month apple picking at an organic apple orchard in the beautiful Okanagan region in BC.
Picture an epic view of the Okanagan valley. The orchard even had a little farm with sheep and chickens.
This region of Canada is popular for spectacular orchards and wineries.
We loved spending our free time swimming in the lakes, exploring the area and roaming the local farmer’s markets.
We were picking mostly gala apples, and the season lasted from September until October.
As an apple picker in Canada, you can earn on average CA$14 per hour.
Okanagan fruit picking is plentiful. Here are some apple orchards which you can contact to inquire about picking apples in Canada:
Taves Family Farm Applebarn, Abbotsford, British Columbia
Davison Orchard, Vernon, British Columbia
Chudleigh’s, Halton Hills, Ontario
How and Where to Find Fruit Picking Jobs in Canada?
With so many fruit farms in Canada, there’s no shortage of opportunities. But how do you go about finding a fruit picking job?
The best place to start is by searching online. There are several websites that list fruit picking jobs in Canada, including:
Online Job Boards
You can browse online job sites such as:
- Job bank – search job listings under NOC code 85101 (Harvesting laborers)
Contact Local Fruit Farms Canada
Another common way to find fruit picking work is to contact local farms directly and inquire about job opportunities. Many fruit farms will list job postings on their websites, or you can give them a call to ask about seasonal positions.
You can also check with your local farm gate market or fruit & veg stand, as they may have information on farm jobs in your area.
Here are a few fruit farm website listings to get you started:
Fruit Farms Canada
- BC Cherry Association
- Jealous Fruits Recruitment
- Carcajou Fruit
- BC Fruit Grower Association
- Old Tower Farm
- Curlew Orchard
Nova Scotia farms
- Millen Farms
- Apple Lane Farm
- Dempsey Corner Orchard
- South Shore Farms
- Ocean Crisp Apples
- Vista Bella Farm
Job Resource Centers
You could also visit a job resource center in the local area.
In the job resource centers, you can find all the job listings and tips on where to find a fruit picking job in the specific local area.
Apart from that, there are Facebook groups such as Okanagan Pickers.
We found an apple-picking job in Okanagan, which was advertised on one of the major Canadian job board work sites – Indeed. And then googled the orchard and contacted the farm directly.
If you visit the Okanagan region anytime from May to October, you will definitely find plenty of fruit picking job opportunities as the valley is full of orchards and vineyards.
Once you’ve found a few potential opportunities, it’s important to do your research before applying. Make sure to read reviews of the farm (if available) and contact them directly to ask any questions you may have. This will help you get a better sense of what the job will entail and whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
How Much Do Fruit Pickers Get Paid in Canada?
In Canada, fruit pickers earn somewhere between CA$13 and CA$20 per hour. Experienced workers who can also operate the orchard or farm machinery and equipment typically can earn towards the higher end of that range.
If you’re interested in fruit picking jobs in Canada, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Firstly, most fruit picking jobs are seasonal, so they won’t last the whole year.
Secondly, you’ll need to have a valid work permit if you’re not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
And thirdly, while wages vary depending on the farm, type of fruit, location and the experience level of the picker, you can expect to earn minimum wage or slightly above.
Fruit pickers usually get paid by hourly rate or by the quantity of fruit being picked.
If the payment is based on piecework, your salary will depend on how much fruit you pick. In other words, how much hard work you’re willing to put in directly correlates with earning potential and commissions.
Each employer has to pay you at least minimum wage regardless of how much you’ve picked.
You can expect a higher pay rate in BC or Ontario, while Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland) is on the lower end. It’s simply because the minimum wage is higher in these provinces.
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What to Expect From Your Workday as a Fruit Picker in Canada?
The process of fruit picking generally includes walking along rows of fruit trees or vines and gently shaking or pulling the fruit from the plant.
Depending on the type of fruit being picked, you may also use ladders or mechanical lift devices.
Fruit picking is physically demanding. You’ll be outside in the hot sun all day, and you’ll need to be able to carry heavy boxes of fruit.
Working hours can be irregular as they depend on weather and fruit maturity.
At the peak of the season, the hours can be long. You may have to start early in the morning or work until night to ensure all the fruit is harvested before it spoils, including weekends. But don’t let that discourage you.
We only had a few long days, so we had more than enough time to explore the area. Plus, after the harvest ended, we had money to go on a road trip along West Coast in our van.
All things considered, fruit picking can be a fun and rewarding experience if you enjoy being outdoors and working with your hands.
If you’re willing to put in the hard work, you can earn some decent money fruit picking while enjoying the Canadian outdoors.
Picture working on a picturesque estate winery or berry picking in a rural area.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Fruit Picker in Canada?
Most fruit picking jobs require workers to be able to lift at least 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and to work long hours outdoors.
Fruit picking jobs are generally straightforward and often don’t require prior experience. Most farms will employ and provide on-the-job training for their harvesting.
Fruit picking is physically demanding. It involves repetitive movements like bending, squatting or climbing the ladder, so employers prefer to employ fit and healthy individuals.
Apart from that, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid work permit if you’re not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
It’s a good idea to check a job description to see if you fit the requirements.
Fruit Picker Jobs in Canada for Foreigners
If you want to work fruit picking jobs in Canada as a foreign worker, you must obtain a work permit. The process of applying for a work permit can be complex, so it’s important to understand the requirements before you begin.
If you need assistance with the visa application process, you can hire an immigration consultant.
There are a few visa options available if you want to work in Canada as a fruit picker.
How to Get a Work Permit?
1. IEC Canada Working Holiday Visa Program
If you’re from a country that has a working holiday agreement with Canada, then you may be eligible for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.
This program allows young people between 18 and 35 to travel and work in Canada for up to two years. This type of program is ideal because you don’t need a job offer to qualify.
If your application is approved, you’ll receive an open work permit. This means that the work permit is not linked to any specific employer, unlike a closed work permit.
2. Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)
If you don’t qualify for IEC, a temporary work permit can be your next best bet.
TFWP is a Canadian government initiative that allows businesses to bring workers from other countries into Canada for short-term employment purposes.
This program is meant to fill gaps in the Canadian labor market by allowing companies to hire international workers.
One of the eligibility criteria for a temporary work permit, you must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.
Canadian employers can’t provide visa sponsorships, however, they can assist foreign workers in obtaining a temporary foreign worker permit by securing an LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment).
LMIA is a document that certifies there are no qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents within Canada who can fill the job. In other words, the Canadian employer can only hire a foreign worker if there is a lack of local workforce in the specific industry or region.
Sometimes you can find farm work or fruit picker jobs approved by LMIA at Job Bank.
3. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program Canada (SAWP)
SAWP is a Canadian government program that allows agricultural employers in Canada to hire temporary foreign workers from certain countries to fill seasonal labor shortages.
While the SAWP program is open to agricultural workers from several different countries, the most common participants are citizens of Mexico and various Caribbean nations.
In order to be eligible for the SAWP program, you must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer and LMIA, which is a document that certifies there are no qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents within Canada who are available or suitable to fill the job.
Type of agricultural work varies. Your responsibilities could be to maintain the farm, examine produce, help with harvesting and farm produce, operate farm machinery, etc.
The only downside is that it might be challenging to find a full-time fruit-picking job. You might have better luck looking for full-time jobs as a farm laborer.
Fruit Picker Jobs in Canada For Filipinos
Picking fruits in Canada as a Filipino can be quite lucrative because you might earn more than double your income in the Philippines.
The requirements to qualify for the job are pretty low, and the demand is high, making fruit picking in Canada an ideal entry-level position. However, the main challenge is getting a work permit.
It might be a good idea to search fruit picking jobs at a recruitment agency accredited by the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or directly at the POEA website.
The other option is to search for fruit-picking jobs via Job Bank from potential employers in Canada who are open to hiring foreign workers and can assist with LMIA (explained in the temporary work permit section above). Job Bank is one of the best job sites to find Canadian jobs.
You might also type into Google “fruit picking jobs in Canada with LMIA” and see what comes up.
Just make sure to doublecheck the legitimacy of jobs listed to prevent getting scammed. How can you do that?
Simply type the employer name of the fruit farm in Canada into a browser and see if the fruit farm has a website and address that matches the job listing. You can also try to give them a call and look at reviews. Just to be on the safe side.
What are the Best Places for Fruit Picking Jobs in Canada?
Canada is home to a wide variety of fruit, from wild blueberries to delicious peaches and apples, making it an ideal place to find fruit picking jobs in various provinces.
Overall, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec are provinces with a long history of fruit farming and the majority of fruit farms in Canada. They offer a wide variety of fruit picking jobs and competitive wages.
Blueberries are the most important fruit crop in terms of market value, followed by apples, grapes, cranberries and strawberries.
You can find plenty of fruit picker jobs in Canada, especially in the following areas:
- Hamilton or Niagara in Ontario
- Okanagan Valley in British Columbia
- Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia
- Île d’Orléans in Quebec
Each of these specific provinces has its own climate and weather conditions, which can impact the type of fruit that grows there.
For example, Niagara’s cool climate is ideal for growing apples and grapes.
On the other hand, the Okanagan Valley has hot, dry summers, ideal for growing stone fruits like cherries and peaches.
In Nova Scotia, The Annapolis Valley is especially known for its fruit farms. There are many U-Pick operations for picking apples or berries open to the public.
Saskatchewan has some amazing saskatoon berry farms.
Whether you’re looking for seasonal employment or aspire to make money overseas, picking fruits in Canada might be a fantastic opportunity.
There are many fruit farms located all across the country, and the demand for fruit pickers is high, especially during harvest season.