Summer work in Kokemäki

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Workers having a coffee break in the accommodation premises

Satakunnan Hernerengas’ contract farmers are one of the largest seasonal employers in Satakunta. The farms are located in Kokemäki. If you are interested in summer work at the contract farms of Satakunnan Hernerengas Oy, in the tasks of picking peas and berries, contact us by e-mail. The information that you provide will be treated as confidential and will only be used by the contract farms.

We will accept applications for the summer season 2012, from 1.12.2011.

The contract farms of Satakunnan Hernerengas have proper accommodation for more than 70 employees. We only accept e-mail applications).

Pictures of the accommodation facilities for pickers

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We wouldn’t be able to succeed without foreign seasonal workers:

The fields of Kokemäki receive pickers from as far away as Thailand

Anttila’s Picking Farm, Mäkitalo’s farm and Satakunnan Hernerengas Oy are companies that work hand in hand. All of these work in Kokemäki, but Satakunnan Hernerengas also have contract growers in Sauvo in Southwest Finland. Satakunnan Hernerengas Oy is run by the owner of Anttila’s picking farm, Tommi Anttila, and the owner of Mäkitalo’s farm, Tommi Mäkitalo.

Products are sold "from Hanko to Utsjoki"

Operations have expanded year by year, and on the best summer days, a truck and three vans full of pea pods and berries leave Kokemäki to various parts of Finland, among others to S-Markets in Helsinki and fresh wholesale market places in Helsinki.- Our products are delivered in the summer "from Hanko to Utsjoki," says Tommi Anttila. The main products include pea pods and garden and forest berries plus soft drinks, freshly squeezed juices and frozen berries. We also purchase forest and garden berries from external sources, says Tommi Anttila. – Raspberries are additionally sold during the summer to self-pickers, the number of which last year was close to 800. Also, Finns who are living in Sweden choose to buy their peas from Finland, because they cannot be eaten anywhere else fresh in the same way.

Finns want to work when it suits them?

The contract farm of Satakunnan Hernerengas employee a large portion of foreign workers, as it is difficult to gain Finnish workers for the whole harvest season. The picking still takes place when schools return in August, not just in July and weekends, the raspberry season is scheduled for August. The foreigners are usually Ingrian-Finns from Estonia and Russia, but workers also come from other countries, among others, Poland, Belarus, Thailand, Kenya, Moldova and Ukraine, and some also from Western Europe. The workers are employed in the farm through Satakunnan Hernerengas. The farm has employed foreign workers for close to ten years, with the annual number being about 50. Many of these make contact through the Internet, but a majority come through the Soviet Ingrian employment centre in St. Petersburg.

Foreign workers pay their taxes to Finland

Foreign pickers pay their taxes to Finland for their picking work, about 20-35 per cent of the gross salary. The same workers often return to Kokemäki year after year for the summer work. Some have already been here for eight summers straight.- They have almost become Kokemäki natives, "says Tommi Anttila. There are roughly the same amount of men and women, and the employees are often very highly educated people in their own country, such as doctors and engineers. The age limit for foreign workers is 17 years old, the majority of the workers are adults. Individuals who are younger then 17 years old, must be accompanied by their own parents.

Equal pay for equal work!

The pay is either hourly or per piece work. The contract farms of Hernerengas follow collective labour agreements in regards to the agricultural sector. At its best, a salary of 3 000 Euro can be earned, and a minimum of 500 Euro per month. The amount of the pay depends on how hard the worker operates in the picking work. There is no difference in the pay earned between Finnish and foreign workers: everyone is paid the same for the same work. The farm was forced to employee foreigners as young Finnish people often want to choose the summer working hours for themselves, due to work, school, summer cottage, festivals, or other such matters. Work is also performed on weekends, therefore stores will be provided daily with fresh peas and berries. The picking season begins a little before midsummer, and usually ends in mid-September. The contract farms of Hernerengas provide good accommodation for more than 50 persons, and the accommodation costs 4 Euro per day.

A total ban on the use of alcohol

From time to time, there are problems with workers, and therefore the use of alcohol is completely prohibited on the contract farms of Satakunnan Hernerengas Oy. If problems arise, the workers are sent away. – As an employer of foreign workers, we are no longer different from other local entrepreneurs. The town of Kokemäki, to my understanding, have dozens of foreign workers employed in seasonal work in many industrial and construction jobs. During the summertime, the number of foreign workers rises at its best due to the strawberry farms, to even over 300 foreign employees. The foreign workers spend a lot of money in the shops and businesses of Kokemäki, says Tommi Anttila. Only time will tell, whether the foreign workers will become permanent residents in Kokemäki. Many of the seasonal workers who have worked in the service of Satakunnan Hernerengas have settled permanently in Kokemäki.