two migrant workers pose for camera in front of apple tree

Prince and Ricardo, Father/Son Team of Seasonal Agricultural Workers from Jamaica

Prince: My name is Prince but I’m not a rock star – I’m an apple star!  I have been coming to Canada from Jamaica for 20 years to work on this fruit farm. The main reason I started coming was to help my family back home.  I have three children and three grandchildren and I talk to them almost every day. At home, we have a small farm growing bananas, coconuts, plantains and breadfruit. My wife looks after it when I’m here. We sell some and eat some. The work here is hard work but it is good and it has given me a lot of experience.

Ricardo: It was an easy decision to follow my dad to Canada five years ago and I’ve been coming here ever since. At home, I used to work as a municipal police officer but now I am here eight months of the year.  I have tried just about every job around here and I like the variety in the work. We were worried that we might not get here this year because the border was closed and that caused a delay. They finally sent a charter flight to Jamaica to pick us all up. Even now, everyone on this farm is taking many precautions for COVID. It’s important that we all take it really seriously.

Prince: I don’t think that people realize that all apples are picked by hand. Apples bruise so easily so you’ve got to be careful with them all. I’d like people to know how hard we work to produce food for Canadians. One day a lady stopped by where we were working to thank us. That felt good.