Packhouse Worker Kaimahi Whare Putunga

Packhouse workers grade, pack and store fruit, vegetables and other produce in packhouses.

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Packhouse workers may do some or all of the following:

  • grade, pack and store produce according to market requirements
  • assemble packaging and crates
  • stack crates using forklifts
  • check the quality of produce
  • follow food, health and safety regulations
  • maintain equipment and machinery.

Physical Requirements

Packhouse workers need to be reasonably fit as they may lift heavy boxes and stand on their feet all day.

Useful Experience

Useful experience includes:

  • work in orchards or market gardens
  • forklift driving
  • production line work.

Personal Qualities

Packhouse workers need to be:

  • efficient and methodical
  • reliable and punctual
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to follow instructions
  • able to work well under pressure.

Useful Experience

Useful experience includes:

  • work in orchards or market gardens
  • forklift driving
  • production line work.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a packhouse worker. However, agricultural and horticultural science is useful.

Year 11-12 learners can find out more about the horticulture industry and earn unit standards towards a New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture or Horticulture (Level 1 or 2) with the Trades Academy.

Year 12-13 learners can find out more about the horticulture industry and earn NCEA unit standards through the Primary ITO Gateway programme.

Packhouse Workers can earn around $19-$20 per hour per year.

Packhouse workers may move into forklift operator, shift supervisor or manager roles, or work in logistics (co-ordinating transport of goods).

Packhouse workers may specialise in a number of roles, including:

Grader
Graders sort fruit, vegetables and other produce in order of size, type, colour and quality.
Labeller
Labellers put labels on fruit, vegetables and other produce for export. 
Packer
Packers fill trays and crates and check the quality and presentation of produce.
Post-harvest Quality Controller
Post-harvest quality controllers take samples of produce to check their size, colour and quality.
Stacker
Stackers stack packed boxes of produce in a way that ensures they do not get damaged.
Strapper
Strappers tape and wrap boxes and crates of produce.
Tray Prep
Tray preps assemble packaging, crates and trays ready to be filled with produce.

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