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Some Thai berry pickers earned what equals 15 years salary during the season in Finland


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Blueberry picking in Virolahti on 25 August. Photo: Juha Metso / AOP

 

by Gregers Møller

 

The outbreak of covid-19 amongst a group of Thai berry pickers in August in Finland was a cause for concern but overall the summer season was good, at least from the Thai pickers’ point of view were the best managed to earn what would have been years of income in their home country of Thailand. 

 

According to YLE, during their two-and-a-half-month berry-picking contract in Finland, some Thai pickers earned what equals to as much as fifteen years of income in Thailand.

 

Jukka Kristo, CEO of the Finnish berry company Polarica conforms that the best pickers in his company have net earnings of EUR 12,000 on their placards with the average being just under EUR 4,000 net.

 

Full story: https://scandasia.com/some-thai-berry-pickers-earned-what-equals-15-years-salary-during-the-season-in-finland/

 

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-- © Copyright ScandAsia 2021-10-18
 
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I have heard of some recently returning and only making enough to pay for their way plus a little on top of that as the Covid outbreak shut them down mid flight so to speak.

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From the article:

 

Time period 2.5 months

Average income 4000 Euro (1600 euro per month)

No mention of flight costs (or loans to cover costs)

No mention of fees for the employment agent (Thai side and fixer)

It quotes annual earning in Thailand for farm labourer as 800 euros a year (67 euros a month - or 2600 baht)

 

 

Does one need to take into account that in a covid year, prices are higher for the berries?

 

 

Edited by MRToMRT
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3 hours ago, webfact said:

According to YLE, during their two-and-a-half-month berry-picking contract in Finland, some Thai pickers earned what equals to as much as fifteen years of income in Thailand.

But can Y'all smell the manure?

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4 hours ago, henry213 said:

All Thai's can earn more when leaving Thailand, My wife earns 26 times what she did in Thailand.

You should find a different type of folks to hang out with. 

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4 hours ago, henry213 said:

All Thai's can earn more when leaving Thailand, My wife earns 26 times what she did in Thailand.

Cost of living is also much higher. Apples to oranges. Like most immigrants, they are scraping by and what is left over they send home to their family who are now able to live comfortably.

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5 hours ago, heybruce said:

If you do the math, 12,000 EUR is the equivalent of less than 480,000 Thai baht.  That is only equivalent to 15 years pay if the worker would have only earned 32,000 a year in Thailand, or less than 2700 baht a month.

Yes, and that's the highest salary. The average is 4,000 EUR. Which is equivalent to 900THB/month.

 

According to the article, Thai people have a 900THB to 2700THB/month salary. 🙄

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3 hours ago, seedy said:

As always - foreign workers efforts honey coated while the Exploitation continues.

What you are stating is not true, this is not exploitation in terms of picking berries in Scandinavia. Scandinavians don't want to do the job, hence they are using foreign labor to do the job , I know for sure I'm Scandinavian...

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A large number of Thai berry pickers coming to Finland work in agriculture and mainly in rice plantations in Thailand where the income level is very low. EUR 12,000 corresponds to 15 years’ salary for rice cultivation, he adds.

€12,000 is around 450,000 baht, and if divided by 15 years it would be 30,000 baht per year!

 

I know many Isaan farmers that would love to employ "rice cultivation" staff for 30,000 baht per year.

 

The minimum wage is about 325 baht per day - variates little from province to province, and some border crossing "rice cultivation" migrant worker staff might be paid slightly less - so based on Thai minimum salary, when we talk about Thais, with typically 26-27 working days a month it's around 8,500 baht per month, so on a year it's in the level of 100,000 baht.

 

5 years would be a more appropriate figure, and if that's net after traveling expenses, it's still a great income...👍

 

The €4,000 salary equals about 150,000 baht, so even that is a good paycheck to bring home...🙂

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4 hours ago, The Oracle said:

Blueberries grow on bushes - even trees in some climates - so I don't know what the woman in the photo is supposed to be doing.

You are talking about "American" blueberries, this is about the "European" variant, officially known as bilberries.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilberry ("This article is about the wild "European" blueberry.") 

They are low-growing, and the photo shows a typical habitat.   

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Slightly misleading, many years ago I went to Finland to earn more money, approximately 7x. However, at the end of the month, I was cooking instant noodles in my apartment(which cost 50,000 baht a month in the 90s). The Bangkok Post was 150 baht and mama noodles about 10x what they are here. Also, it was bloody freezing, the sea even froze when I was in Helsinki!  

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5 hours ago, The Oracle said:

They do pick more than just blueberries.  Blueberries grow on bushes - even trees in some climates - so I don't know what the woman in the photo is supposed to be doing.  Cloudberries (or golden berries) grow almost at ground level, so that's more likely in the photo and it's miscaptioned.

The only reason I comment isn't to disagree but offer some information.

My landlady's friend lives in Finland and sent some photos of the fruits she'd picked.  I thought they were just yellow raspberries but, no.  I took ages googling.  However, they were cloudberries: expensive as they and lingonberries are a delicacy often well over $12 a pound.

https://nwwildfoods.com/product-category/wild-berries/

They are most likely Bilberry's , used to get them from Nordic countries,

when I was in the trade many years ago, they used to come in large tins,

grows on low bushes ....

regards Worgeordie

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5 hours ago, MRToMRT said:

No mention of

 

local income tax, which was this year's hot-button.

 

If the same thais return each season then it must be financially lucrative.

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10 minutes ago, meauwnam said:

They start at six in the morning and work until nine in the evening. It's more like slave labor

Well not really.. they get paid don't they? Are they bonded in any way?

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8 hours ago, The Oracle said:

They do pick more than just blueberries.  Blueberries grow on bushes - even trees in some climates - so I don't know what the woman in the photo is supposed to be doing.  Cloudberries (or golden berries) grow almost at ground level, so that's more likely in the photo and it's miscaptioned.

The only reason I comment isn't to disagree but offer some information.

My landlady's friend lives in Finland and sent some photos of the fruits she'd picked.  I thought they were just yellow raspberries but, no.  I took ages googling.  However, they were cloudberries: expensive as they and lingonberries are a delicacy often well over $12 a pound.

https://nwwildfoods.com/product-category/wild-berries/

She's supposed to be picking blueberries, which grow close to the ground in the Nordic countries. We don't even call the plant a bush, because it's so small.

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Saw a documentary about that. It is slavery. Good income? Fairy tales.

They have a poor life in picking and doesnt bring in any worth in money.

Their working conditions? Absolutely horrible. Yeah ok it is in nature, so at least lots of fresh air, besides the rain

and lots of walking, exercise. You dont have to go to gym anymore.

Mostly when stopping, having a loss.  

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