Pentti Jeronen, or Mustikka-Pentti, who has picked a total of 200 buckets of berries last summer, is amazed at how difficult it is for berry farms to get to work.
The man has tried to call and email three farms, but with little success. Jeronen stopped calling one place when the phone got busy: so someone else was answered, but not him.
- It is said everywhere that the shortage of factors is severe. Then there is no answer when a hardworking man strives for work.
The facilities approached by Jerose are located within 50 kilometers of Pielavesi. Eventually, one of these approached Jeros.
From there, it was reported that employment would be announced later, at the turn of May and June. An interview is not coming, but a decision will be made according to the current need.
- Yes, I have to hope to get there. I can't really go more than 50 kilometers when the fuel costs get so high and you should get to the berry forest even on home orders.
Jeronen believes that the non-response is mainly due to the hustle and bustle of the spouses and the fact that they are still waiting for foreigners to work. It was reported yesterday that the entry of Ukrainian executives into the country is on ice.
According to the producers, it may threaten the berry and vegetable harvest, as Finnish jobseekers do not have enough experienced factors that can be used, for example, in work management.
Read more: MTK whips the government: Inaction can threaten security of supply and berry farms - the list of measures was issued a month ago
In Jeronen's opinion, however, the talk of not trusting Finnish berry pickers is strange. He emphasizes that at least picking is successful when you are hardworking.
- I also advertised a little last summer about my berry harvest and these press articles.
Up to 10,000 Finns are applied for jobs on berry and vegetable farms.
Photo: Antti Hämäläinen
Even if Jeronen doesn't get a job, he already has a contingency plan.
- Berry forest. And yes, I pick berries from the forest, even if I get to work.
He says that the mornings are good times for picking blueberries, which means that if necessary, the berry forest had time before the start of the shift.
Last year, Jerose was left with 125 buckets of blueberries and 75 buckets of lentils. The last lingonberries Jeronen was sold in the winter and next summer's berry orders have already been heard.
Read more: Mustikka-Pentti has already collected well over 100 buckets of berry income for the winter
Last summer, Jeronen wanted to keep buckets affordable so that, among other things, low-income retirees had the opportunity to buy berries. Jeronen also plans to keep prices low this summer, although the price of lentils will rise slightly.
- Last autumn, there was such terrible news about the health effects of lingonberries, so it will probably be of more interest than before and the price will rise.
At present, the price of lentils is less than half the price of blueberries.
Jeronen believes that the summer will be better than the last summer for blueberries, as there are more blooms than normal. He doesn’t think he will reach the record pace, at least for blueberries, but 75 buckets of lingonberries may be exceeded.
- You'll see it in the summer.
If he gets the berry income as well as last year, the man might be going to delight the local needy somehow.
Surprise, he doesn't want to reveal any more.
Jeronen plans to pick blueberries this summer as well, got a job or not.
Photo: Timo Hartik
As the coronavirus creates uncertainty, Jeronen wants to encourage others in the berry forest as well. Last year, the man earned thousands of euros from the berries. To top it all off, income is tax-free and does not affect unemployment benefits if it is suitably small and the berries are sold as is, without processing.
In the case of Jeronen, these conditions were met, and there were no problems with the TE Office or Kela
Read more: Can the unemployed earn with berries? The TE Office and Kela are responsible
When Korona imposes restrictions on movement, there will also be demand for wild berry pickers. If and probably when the Thais who have arrived in the Finnish desert in recent years cannot enter Finland, bakeries and market vendors who crave wild berries may be in trouble.
- Yes, you can make good money in the forest either by selling directly to the customer or to these bakeries, which do not pay so well.