ABCgrower gives tree croppers visibility

March 27, 2022 | 5 Min read
ABCgrower delivers an easy-to-use solution to manage the minimum wage.

The Fair Work Commission has ruled to vary the Horticulture Award to ensure that all pieceworkers must be paid a minimum hourly rate in accordance with the employee’s classification and type of employment.

As a result, producers must record details such as pieceworkers' hours, tasks and the pay. The ruling comes into effect from 28 April 2022.

For many farmers, this means extra time spent sorting-out wages at times when they are already busy with harvesting, days Sharon Chapman, founder of ABC Software.

“ABC delivers an easy-to-use solution which manages the minimum wage already,” she said, adding that NZ has had regulated minimum wage rates for decades and was the first country in the world to introduce a minimum wage, in 1894.

“ABCgrower gives farmers visibility to piece rate costs and the top up costs where the piece rate payments fall short of the required hourly rate.”

Productivity can be seen at any time to help identify workers who need more training/encouragement, and to collect start and end times for workers is easy. Breaks are automatically calculated.

Ms Chapman said the solution includes an optional productivity bonus tool to incentivise and reward the top performers. There is also an option to convert piece rate to hourly rate.

“Having productivity and potential top-up costs instantly available gives the grower the opportunity to make operational changes before the costs are actually incurred. Collecting worker information digitally definitely improves accuracy and brings savings from taking less time to manage,” she said.

For remote farms, ABC’s solution doesn’t need an internet connection – it works offline so can be used anywhere. Full online and phone support is available from ABC’s NZ offices.

Wim van Niekerk, managing director at Widem Farming in Far North Queensland, which supplies premium citrus to domestic and international markets, said, "One of the key benefits we've gained from using ABCgrower is driving productivity by showing our workers what they've achieved in a day – it really incentivises them!

“We also have immediate visibility of unproductive workers and can take appropriate action. We see the results directly affecting our bottom line.

“We already pay a minimum wage to our workers. We can do this with a push of a button – it’s very easy with ABCgrower," Mr van Niekerk said.

Categories Harvesting

Read also

View all

Demonstrated success for almond aeration

Going paperless is easy and boosts productivity

NZ startup changing the fruit picking game