Fruit hanging on trees well into a cold and frosty Hawke's Bay winter provides a visual reminder of the struggle growers had finding pickers over the last season.
New Zealand Apples and Pears CEO Alan Pollard said it was the third year in a row a labour shortage had been declared in Hawke's Bay, and it was time to have a conversation about solving the issue.
"We can't continue to have an annual conversation which is what we've been doing in the past, we've got to have much more long-term solutions.
"That is the focus.
"We're working with Government on