After September 15, the olive harvest begins in Halkidiki and the need for labor is huge. According to experts, 10,000 to 15,000 agricultural workers will be needed this year.
The internal labor market cannot fill the existing gap, and the search for labor is usually carried out by the Balkan countries, mainly Albania, by interstate agreement. This process allows each manufacturer, after paying the appropriate fee, to apply for jobs and hire workers who are issued a work visa for a specified period.
It should be noted that the cultivation of olives in Halkidiki, along with the cycle of activities and employment associated with tourism, is the main source of income for thousands of families in a prefecture that produces a large number of olives, mainly table varieties, which, together with olives used exclusively for the production of oil, are one of the main export routes of Greece.
There are about 140,000 acres of irrigated olive trees in the prefecture of Chalkidiki, which annually produce, depending on weather conditions, from 80,000 to 150,000 tons of table olives. Halkidiki also has a large dry olive grove, which extends over an area of about 100,000 acres, where olives are grown for oil production.
A business infrastructure is developing around the cultivation and production of edible olives and olive oil, which makes the industry vital to the entire region.
The olive harvest in Halkidiki starts after mid-September and lasts 2 to 3 months, usually requiring over 10,000 temporary workers. This year, a total of more than 100,000 tons of olives should be harvested, and the need for labor will reach 10,000-15,000 people.