Tree is an Australia-wide agricultural employment platform that allows businesses to find and hire workers for free. Vegetables Australia takes an in-depth look at Tree and why it’s moving to a verified system on its next major update.

Worker shortages and the reputational damage caused by media stories of worker exploitation continue to be issues for businesses in Australian horticulture.

While most businesses do the right thing, the reputation of the entire industry is being dragged through the mud by the few who do not. This may be eroding the public’s sentiment towards farmers and could be affecting local workers’ willingness to work in the industry.

According to Explorewithtree Founder & CEO Nic Terpkos, this is a ‘carrot and stick’ problem.

“Either the punishment (stick) for bad practices is too lenient or the reward (carrot) for good practices is insufficient,” Nic said.

“Prevention like in health care is the best solution, however the current ‘stick’ known as the Fair Work Ombudsman is reactive.

“The ‘carrot’ offered to businesses who do the right thing is a solid reputation, resulting in word-of-mouth referrals. But this is just a natural consequence of doing good business.

“Ultimately, we need to provide reputable employers with greater access to labour serving as both a bigger carrot and sharper stick.”

The carrot and stick 2.0

Tree is an Australia-wide agricultural employment platform for businesses who do the right thing. With Tree, businesses can find the labour to suit their needs today.

The carrot

By joining Tree, businesses can experience a number of benefits:

  • Access to the fastest growing jobseeker network in Australia supported by Thankful4farmers’ ‘GoAndPick’ initiative.
  • Membership of a growing ethical reputable community of agribusinesses, protecting your brand.
  • Use of our in-platform applicant search, filtering and management tools – saving you time and headache.
  • A continually improving platform with new features and functionality to help your business thrive.

“Tree is working with Harvest Trail Service Providers and safety partners to deploy the verified system on its next major update,” Nic said.

The stick

By not joining Tree, businesses risk:

  • No access to advertise and find labour on Tree or any of the ‘carrots’ listed above.
  • A reduced pool of labour to source workers from.
  • No association with other employers who engage in best practices, which may be a cost to your brand and reputation.

“We know that carrots may not grow on trees (as opposed to sticks), but with Tree, we can start embracing a better system to find labour, help end worker shortages and repair the damage from stories of exploitation,” Nic said.

Company background

Explorewithtree is a technology company that builds labour procurement and management infrastructure software for Australian agriculture. Any type of employer – from direct employers to labour hire companies to harvest trail service providers – can use the Tree platform to find and hire labour for their business or clients. Tree is Australian made, owned and improved. The company’s founders came across a problem that started with two foreign friends unable to find farm work and began digging into the world of Australian agriculture.

They drove across their home state of Western Australia to meet and speak with growers from all different areas and industry backgrounds and began to learn that each grower had their own unique hiring challenges. As the complexity of the problem grew one thing was certain: The right solution was needed, not just any solution.

“Our promise is to grow alongside Australian growers’ needs and work to solve industry problems with the right solutions,” Nic concluded.

Find out more

For further information about Tree, please visit explorewithtree.com.

If you’re a business that would like to learn more, please contact Nic Terpkos at nic@explorewithtree.com.

If you’re a jobseeker who would like to learn more, please contact us via our Facebook page or email hello@explorewithtree.com.

If you’re in media and would like to get in touch, please contact Harry Lowther at harry@explorewithtree.com.