Cherry-picking was a great start to the day thanks to the Geomigrace team who organised this one-day excursion to Slaný on Tuesday 16/06/2020, attended by a group of bachelors and doctoral students of geography at our faculty.
After meeting the boss of the orchards, Mr Kníže, who gave us clear guidelines on how to pick cherries, which size and shades of red we have to search for, we were off to fill up our buckets. We were told that the skilled cherry pickers need approximately 15 minutes to fill up one bucket. Although we were motivated to show off our cherry-picking skills, our productivity was limited by our cherry addiction after the first bite.
Once the buckets were full, we set down for a discussion under the cherry trees. We could perceive that Mr Kníže takes a lot of pride in Ekofrukt being the 10th biggest fruit producer in Czechia; however, he was honest about the company’s struggles. Namely, due to the pandemic Czechia and other countries have considerably constrained mobility, which resulted in a lack of workforce that was mainly composed of foreign workers. During our visit, Mr Kníže showed us around the plantation and the factory where they further select and use the fruits for making different products (syrups, muesli bars, etc.). We tackled a broad range of interesting topics during our visit; such as effects of different circumstances on the company and local economy, customers’ preferences, and a wide variety of conditions necessary to satisfy for each type of fruit.
To sum up the foregoing, Ekofrukt demonstrated their dedication to their work with, for example, acquiring expensive technology for a quality selection of cherries according to their size and efforts put into the cultivation of watermelons!
(Adela Petrovic, URRlab)