Agricultural campaigns: Hundreds of Moroccan seasonal workers expected in Huelva

In view of the labor shortage in Spain, the agro-food cooperatives of Huelva, a city located in the extreme south-west of the Iberian Kingdom, are preparing to welcome more than 680 Moroccan seasonal workers for the next strawberry and berry picking season.

Several Spanish cooperatives have chosen to hire hundreds of Moroccan women to work during the 2022/23 strawberry and red fruit picking campaign, for two reasons: The lack of national labor to ensure harvesting work in the berry sector, and relatively cheap rates for foreign labor.

To do this, the federation in charge of cooperation traveled to the city of Fez during this week, for a four-day mission, in order toe to conduct interviews and talk with future seasonal workers, about 1,400 candidates registered for the offer that the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills (ANAPEC) launched a few months ago. The successful candidates will have to carry out the harvesting work during the months of peak production and will thus begin to arrive in Huelva from next January.

According to the Spanish newspaper Huelva Informationthe selection process will go through through collective management of original contracts (GECCO). This is an approach that has been authorized by the General Directorate of Migration of the Spanish government, given the shortage of labor experienced in Spain, and more generally in Europe.

The same source explains that this collective management of recruitment at source represents a fundamental tool to guarantee the proper functioning of this agricultural campaign, the harvest of which requires the recruitment of a large volume of labor, precisely during the peak period. She also notes that the Spanish labor market does not offer enough interested personnel to cover the needs of the agricultural sector, as is the case for the majority of European countries.

The collective management option was regulated in Spain last December due to the decline in the workforce, especially with the advent of Covid, and stipulates that when difficulties arise in terms of coverage and satisfaction of labor needs of a sector on the national labor market, quotas of foreign workers can be managed in coordination with the countries with which Spain has signed agreements for the regulation and organization of migratory flows.

It should be noted that in this sense, the general directorate for migration of the Spanish government has authorized the selection of 5,250 new candidates, notably from Morocco and Honduras, to be able to work in the harvest of strawberries and red fruits.

Thus, in parallel with the selection of personnel in Morocco, the agri-food cooperatives of the Spanish city continue to manage the recruitment of workers of Ecuadorian origin, to which will be added this year those from Honduras.

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