Workers even from the north of Greece are gathering at this time in Crete for the olive harvest. The owners of olive groves find it difficult to find foreigners to pick the olive fruit.

The Labor Center of Heraklion, in order to deal with the problem of the lack of workers, “runs” a program with which the unemployed are motivated to work in the primary sector, specifically in the olive sector, by covering the costs of movement and relocation.

So far, 500 unemployed people are participating in the program. This year, production has been down this year compared to last year due to weather conditions, however there is a great need for labor, with officials saying the island is currently short of 10,000 workers.

The time to start harvesting depends on the time when the olive reaches its highest oil content. Each region has its own ripening time. The harvest begins in November and ends in February. According to expert scientists, this period is the best for the production of superior quality oil, which will contain all its excellent characteristics. The picking of the olive plays an important role in its cultivation and the quality of the oil. There are many ways of harvesting and many modern machines have replaced the human hands and made the process easier and more economical, but no one has been able to replace the hand that protects the tree and selects the olive.

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