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Labour hire in the Atherton tablelands for Harvest Season

Did you know that it can be up to five years from planting until an avocado tree produces any fruit? Farmers in the QLD Tablelands region know everything there is to know about the humble Avocado tree with the industry accounting for a gross value in product of over $83m.

Situated in Tropical North-East Queensland, Atherton is one of the main towns within the Tablelands region and is well known for its lakes, waterfalls, tropical rainforests, farming and agriculture. It is located about 80km inland from the ocean and has an approximate population of 8,200 people and a seasonal workforce that swells to nearly double during certain harvest peak times.

Atherton Tablelands

Tablelands and Agriculture

Tablelands agricultural industries realised a gross value of production of over $552 million in 2015. This represents an increase in the farm gate value of the Tablelands agricultural sector by over 30%, when compared with estimates from 2010/11.

This increase is largely due to the major expansion of avocado, banana, blueberry, citrus and sugar cane plantings within the region and good market prices for a number of key industries over recent years.

  • The banana industry is the most valuable agricultural industry on the Tablelands.
  • Avocado is the areas fastest growing agricultural industry with the growing popularity of the green fruit on café menus around the country and as an export to other regions.
  • The mango industry continues to evolve with new varieties fulfilling Australia’s love affair with the summer fruit.
  • The sugar cane industry is the Tablelands largest cropping industry, and has expanded significantly since 2011 to meet the demands of the Tableland and Mossman sugar mills.
  • Beef cattle is the most widespread industry on the Tablelands and the primary land use in the central and western areas.


Agriculture of the Atherton Tablelands


A General Guide to Fruit Picking Seasons

January to December – Banana picking
February to June – Avocados
March to July – Custard apple picking
September to December – Potatoes

Banana Crop


Spotlight on Atherton Avocados

Aussies are eating an average 3.1kg of the green fruit every year – 600 grams more than 10 years ago. This demand has Queensland avocados penned to reach a gross value of $225 million this financial year – 49 per cent higher than initial estimates.

While the official Atherton avocado season doesn’t start until February 2018, early indications are pointing to an extended Queensland avocado season next year, with some fruit already appearing on trees in the far north.

Avocados Australia Chief Executive John Tyas said north Queensland yields were strong and the harvest is looking promising with farmers tipping an early start to a longer picking period.
"The flowering started early on the Tablelands and it's looking like a really good flowering, so they should be in for another good crop this year and it could start about a month early ," he said.

Avocado Tree

More than two million trays of avocados are produced from the Tablelands orchards during avocado season, meeting the steady increase in Australia’s hunger for the green fruit.

About 90 growers make up the Tablelands’ $80 million avocado industry. Nationwide there are about 850 avocado growers, mostly farming hass, sharwil, wurtz, reed and shepard varieties.

An avocado tree can bear up to 300 fruit a year.

More about Atherton

It is located about 1,715km north of Brisbane, which should take about 20 - 21 hours to drive, if you don't make any long stops along the way, or two days if you stop over for a night.

It is about 80km south of the popular destination of Cairns, but it will take about 1.5 hours to drive due to the windy roads.

APG services the Tablelands region from our office located at 227 Byrnes Street, Mareeba. Call us now to discuss seasonal work on 07 4092 1334.





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