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Spain sending 15,000 workers to France to grape harvest

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Staff Writer | August 16, 2016
Some 15,000 Spaniards will be heading to France this year to take part in the grape harvest.
France grape harvest
Workforce   20% of first-time grape pickers are aged under 30
In 1972, the figure was 96,000, dropping to 10,000 in 1992, when Spain’s economy was enjoying a lengthy period of growth.

Labor unions say that around 20% of first-time grape pickers are aged under 30 and have a university degree.

The campaign begins at the end of August and generally lasts a month, although there are areas of France where the harvest extends until the end of October.

Labor unions say that most Spaniards who travel to France work overtime, generally bringing their wages up to €2,000.

The typical Spanish grape picker is male, aged between 30 and 45, with a primary education and experience working in agriculture. Most work in groups of between eight and 20 people.

Of Spain’s regions, Andalusia provides the largest number of workers who head to France each year: 11,000, or 75% of the grape-picking workforce.