It is not necessary to speak the farmer's language well to understand what to do. Besides, there will always be a colleague who speaks French, or a Frenchman who speaks English.
Most harvests last a week, you also work through the weekend. However, this does vary from farmer to farmer; there are also large farmers who harvest for 14 days, for example. You are expected to work for the farmer throughout the harvesting period. You can completely indicate your preferences, and we will do our best to find you the perfect place.
The grape harvest falls in the September/August period. It's still nature, so we can only say with more certainty in early August when the exact picking dates are going to be. But don't stress, we are here to arrange for you to pick. Should your free weeks not match the harvest at all, we will ensure cashback.
In France, you are paid per working day, regardless of your pace of work. Every year, wages are calculated according to rates set by law. Last year, the net wage was about €57 for an 8-hour working day. This amount will change slightly every year. Porters earn more than pickers, but there is no big difference.
In addition to wages, you will receive board and lodging (see info page). On days you don't work, either due to weather or illness, you don't get paid. At the end of the harvest, wages are paid, either in cash or by cheque. Let the farmer know that you prefer to be paid in cash; this way you avoid the cost of cashing a cheque. If you do receive a cheque, it is advisable to cash it immediately in France.
You sleep with that farmer. Who often has an extra house or rooms on his estate, this always includes a shower and toilet. These have been set up for centuries for pickers during the annual harvest. They are often dormitories, but can also be small rooms. There is also often the possibility to put your van or tent somewhere in the yard and spend the night there.
Eating with the farmer and farmer's wife is quite an experience, most farmers serve 3 meals, all classic French. Breakfast includes bread, cheeses, sausages and sometimes even chocolate and wine (yes, really). Lunch is very elaborate in France, so it is often served hot on the farm, often taking 1.5 hours. And finally dinner, which often consists of a salad beforehand, a typical French dish and finally cheese 😉
The farmer is required by law to insure you against accidents during working hours. This insurance does not cover damage due to theft, etc. Therefore, travel insurance is recommended.
In case of cancellation on your part one month or more before the start of the harvest at your assigned farm, we will refund you 50% of the payment. Cancellations up to two weeks before the start: 25% refund; later cancellations: no refund.
The relationship between the pickers and the farmer (employer) is not our responsibility. An employer has the legal right to send away a picker (employee) if he has a good reason to do so. Apcon is not liable for any damage or lost income.