Frederick J. Smith
Ten years ago, Juan Carlos became concerned about the steady increase in
the cost of farm labor in Chile’s central valley, where he had his main orchards
and berry fields. It was not only the increasing hourly pay, but the increasing
contributions that he was making to pension plans, health care and other worker
benefits. With his son and farm manager, Juan Carlos traveled to Oregon
and Washington to have a look at mechanical harvesting of blackberries,
raspberries and marionberries. He wanted to see the machines operating in the
fields and see how the growers managed their plantations.
It was the peak of harvest, and with the assistance of Anglatin Ltd. they got to
ride on a variety of mechanical berry harvesters, and to talk with the growers.
The net result was the purchase of a cane berry harvester.
Now Juan Carlos is not only paying more for farm labor, it is becoming nearly
impossible to find enough labor at the peak of harvest. When he contracted
for 50 picker, only 20 showed up. So, he is back in the market for mechanical
Anglatin and Juan Carlos are working on another visit to the US where they will
not only visit growers and see the latest harvest technology in the field, but will
visit two of the leading harvester designers and manufacturers.