March 2019 | Border Force crackdown on illegal foreign workers leaves Victorian farmers struggling to find pickers

Date: 4 March 2019

Source: ABC

Farmers in Victoria's north-west are struggling to find workers to pick their fruit after a crackdown on illegal foreign workers over the past month.

A campaign by the Australian Border Force (ABF) in the region found 23 undocumented workers at a farm in Robinvale, with those workers now awaiting deportation.

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has told the ABC that table grapes in Sunraysia were being left on the vine because workers were too scared to show up, fearing more raids.

VFF vice president Emma Germano said the presence of Border Force has shut the industry down during its peak picking time.

"A lot of workers had taken off, obviously in fear of retribution," she said.