Farmers have been getting worried for months. As the summer fruit-picking season looms, closed borders and travel restrictions mean Australia's horticulture sector, which depends heavily on seasonal, migrant labour, will really struggle.
And that will mean a summer with fewer Australian fruit and vegetables on supermarket shelves. Consumers paying more for less. And although politicians are finally confronting the crisis -- proposals to send refugees and school leavers to farms have gotten traction on both sides of the aisle -- it could all be too little too late.
Higher prices, less produce
It's no secret the horticulture sector can't function without migrant workers -- a mix of working holiday visa makers (often backpackers from Europe) and undocumented labourers -- but the pandemic stopped them coming.