The Finnish government reject to grant more visas to seasonal berry-pickers from Thailand despite an increased demand for their labour.
The newspaper Kaleva reports that 1,900 visas are being granted to berry-pickers, the same number as last year. Employers were hoping for a larger seasonal labour force, and more people also submitted visa applications.
The government fears that if more visas are granted, then the income of each picker will decrease. Officials want to be sure that each labourer can made a decent wage.
The number of Finnish firms seeking foreign pickers has also increased; many are getting fewer labourers than they would have liked.
According to the newspaper Kaleva, foreign berry pickers gather around half of the fruit that ends up on store shelves. In addition to Thailand, many workers come for the berry season from Belarus and Ukraine.