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Agriculture: desperately looking for tractor drivers, cowherds, farm workers …

It is one of the red threads of the Agricultural Show which opens its doors this Saturday Porte de Versailles in Paris (15th). The need for agricultural labor, which has prevailed for many years, is only increasing in France, in all regions and in all areas. According to the first trade union in the sector, the FNSEA, which will organize a job dating on Friday February 28 to connect candidates and recruiters in partnership with Pôle emploi, 70,000 jobs, CDD and CDI, are currently unfilled in the farms of our country.

“In certain sectors, the situation even becomes worrying,” notes Jérôme Volle, president of the “employment” commission at the FNSEA. I am thinking in particular of the tomato and carrot crops, located in the English Channel or near the ocean. Due to the lack of sufficient manpower, some farms are no longer developing or are going out of business, ”he laments. “Pictures are tough! The image of the guy with his beret sweeping the farmyard is over, storm on his side André Bernard, president of a chamber of agriculture. Today, the professions have changed. We need brains, qualified staff, and wages can go way beyond the minimum wage. ”

A big lack of seasonal workers, but not only

How to explain this disaffection? “With the disappearance of family workers, fewer and fewer sons and daughters of farmers are taking over family businesses. A new type of wage earning is developing with service providers who move from farm to farm and the labor requirements are permanent, ”explains François Pureseigle, sociologist specializing in the agricultural world, professor at universities in Toulouse.

As for the types of jobs to be filled, a distinction must be made between unskilled seasonal jobs which can last from two weeks to several months and represent eight out of ten recruitments and permanent contracts which require training. At the top of the requests, we find the positions of agricultural workers (especially in the sectors of arboriculture, market gardening) but also of drivers of agricultural machinery of the tractor type and finally positions related to new farm activities, such as direct sale. “Positions of packers, handlers, salesmen, guides for wine tourism are also sought”, notes Arthur Hibert, of the statistical pole of the FNSEA.

In addition, the development of organic products brings with it new needs. “Many farms are in transition and are looking for trained employees. The workforce must be qualified, the staff have good computer skills, “says François Pureseigle. The trend could further intensify, especially as the agricultural population ages. According to a study by the Social Mutual Agricultural Fund (MSA), more than half (56%) of French farm managers are now over 50 years old.

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