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Carrots Picking / Packing

The carrot industry in Australia, especially those in the Western region, has provided at least 60% of the country’s import supply with an estimated amount of 140 tons in 2012. Western Australia is known to supply fresh carrots to 15 countries, with Asia and the Middle East as their major market. One of the reasons why carrots flourish in Australia is their varied climate condition of mild, cold weather to hot summer and the soils of the coastal areas. Perth and West Gingin, Myalup and Baldivis are known to be the areas where Australian carrots are largely produced. Large scale carrot farms resort to mechanically processed planting and harvesting for faster delivery. Fremantle is the nearest port to Perth where shipments are made.

Air seeders are used to sow carrot seedlings – this to ensure that they are strategically planted in a safe and organized distance. Carrot crops that are sown during the summer season have faster maturity time of 16 weeks while those that were planted during the winter season may take as long as 24 weeks from planting, before they mature and be ready for harvesting. Most carrots planted on a large scale are machine harvested and mechanically transported to a nearby storage house for packing and processing. Before packing, carrots have to go through washing, brushing and hydro cooling before they are sorted according to their sizes.

Carrots are very sensitive, especially after they are harvested, and the way they are stored can affect their taste and succulence. Carrots should not be left in open containers where they can be exposed to other fruits such as apples and tomatoes. Doing so will turn its taste of a bitter, flavorless and dry vegetable. Carrots are a great source of fiber, mineral, proteins and oil that can help prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases as well as a great stabilizer of blood sugar.

Fruit picking or harvesting of vegetable in Australia can take up long hours of the day, but for backpackers who wish to gain financial freedom while they stay in the country, a week’s farm work could give you additional AU$600 in the pocket. Most backpackers who resort to this kind of job merely take it for the extension of their visa, but for others, they stay for the long haul and for the compensation they get. Backpackers who work under contractors may get paid less as the contractor also takes out a portion of a worker’s pay instead of receiving the salary in full.

Fruits and vegetable from Australia are carefully inspected through their (AQIS) Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service to ensure good, safe and quality products for export. The AQIS complies with the international standard of exporting goods that is why the country takes pride on the freshness of their exports. Packing of carrots for export is usually done by third party contractors that have passed the Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points or HACCP. The expansion of Australia’s carrot production in the past years has been the result of international demand for this type of vegetable.