Monday, 2 February 2009


(Pictures courtesy of Invicta FM)

Well we now have the peppers and tomatoes planted by the million over at Thanet Earth in Birchington; not much evidence of the massive screening planting plans shown on the planning application to TDC to reduce the visual impact of the glass-houses and 'picking is due to start in March'. It is now February.
The Dutch Co-operative 'Rainbow Growers' has put its glass-house down to peppers and Kaaij Redstar has put in tomatoes. A & A Growers were due to have planted its glass-house with cucumbers by the end of last month.
Am I the only one who re-calls the optomistic headlines 'Fresca Group - Thanet Secures 550 Jobs'. ? I have scoured local press; listened to local radio; serched web-sites and cannot find one job advertised for Glass-House Pickers and Packers at Thanet Earth in Birchington. Am I missing something?
The Fresca Website claims - 'Please no Agencies. We recruit directly for all vacancies', yet I am told that 'bog standard' pickers and packers' WILL be provided by Agencies.
I think it is time for our Councillors make some enquiries with Fresca about these promised jobs in Thanet. Surely it couldn't be that we have been 'taken for a ride' with job promises and that Dutch and other European pickers & packers are being recruited and not locals. I would have thought that if harvesting is due to start in March, at least some workers in Thanet might have had the chance to work at Thanet Earth? Does anyone out there know of anyone who is local and is employed or has worked at Thanet Earth yet?


One Eyed Bob said...

Look if fannit workers refuse to learn Polish and trawl through vacancies in the Warsaw Times, Krakow Gazette or even Gdansk Bugle, then they have no one to blame but themselves.

Just ask Mandelson.

Anonymous said...

Rainbow Growers website advertises only 1 job at this location, they are looking for a manager who has expertise in cultivation. There is an English language version of the site but one minor problem, the job ad section is in the Dutch language only.

Bertie Biggles said...

I see what you mean 22.54! How does a young fellow on Jobseekers make an application after reading this?

Wegens toenemende groei van onze activiteiten, zijn wij constant op zoek naar nieuwe mensen ter ondersteuning van onze afdelingsmanagers voor o.a. de:

afdeling Kleinverpakken of de afdeling Sorteren of de afdeling Expeditie

Wij vragen:
• iemand die door wil groeien tot assistent manager
• een Westlandse mentaliteit
• een leeftijd tussen de 18 en 25 jaar
• leergierigheid, stressbestendigheid, flexibiliteit
• affiniteit met groenten en fruit
• minimaal een MBO werk- en denkniveau

Wij bieden:
• marktconform salaris
• uitstekende primaire- en secundaire arbeidsvoorwaarden
• prettige werksfeer in een leuk team

Zoek je een leuke, afwisselende baan in een gezellig team? Stuur dan jouw open sollicitatie met CV naar Rainbow Kleinpak BV, Poortcamp 9, 2678 PT De Lier, t.a.v. Ingrid van der Voort of naar

Anonymous said...

The question to ask is 'How did this scheme get through Planning without an environmental survey and a local campaign to curb its excesses?'

Answer:- Because no-one knew about it so no-one made a fuss.

Outcome:- This monstrosity producing hydroponically-grown crops that have to have chemicals added to give flavour.

Anonymous said...

That poor woman Ingrid is now going to get a flood of emails from hopeful Thanet job seekers - that's the wrong ad Bertie!

Anonymous said...

maybe we should picket it like they are doing in Lincs - Bertie "jobs for Thanet people" there you are come out of retirement as a trade union official!

Anonymous said...

Hopeful Thanet Jobseekers ?

Genius. So many oxymorons compressed into three words.

Michael Child said...

8.21 I believe Thanet Earth has a serious problem to sort out because of the lack of this, I have modified a post I did recently as a comment here.

A mixture of factors has come together making an aspect of Thanet Earth potentially very dangerous indeed.

When the planning application for Thanet Earth was approved there was no environmental impact study done, I don’t know if this was because it counted as an agricultural development or if it just slipped under the radar.

This means that the surface drainage of the car, lorry parks and loading areas have drains that run into soakaways not only are these on the aquifer, but they are very close to where Thanet Earth is pumping out water from a borehole for its irrigation and crop washing.

The recent disparity between diesel prices in different countries mean that lorries are being fitted with larger fuel tanks 1,000 litres is not uncommon.

I doubt that the driver would even notice if while he was manoeuvring his lorry a bollard or something caught and ruptured his fuel tank and as lorries often have two of these tanks it could be a considerable time before he noticed.

There is also a new crime spreading across Europe which is pertinent to lorry parks on the aquifer, below an extract from a news article.

“On the 24th of June when the workmen arrived for a new day they found 3 lorries that have been filled up the last night with their tanks completely empty, having been pierced with a pickaxe. They didn't even take half of the diesel, with the remainder spilled on the ground. The company lost more than 4000 € that day from fuel theft in addition to the cost of repairing 3 fuel tanks.

One month later the smell of spilt diesel still engulfs the facility. Now the lorries are guarded during the night by a man with a licence to carry and use fire arms. On the fence a sign warns: be wary of pitbull dogs.”

Bertie Biggles said...

12.56, the problem as I see it is creating a level playing field. I am beginning to suspect that the 'carrot' dangled before TDC of 550 jobs led to suspension of all common sense in regard to the Thanet Earth development. As Councillors have admitted to me, 'it slipped under our radar'. As Michael now highlights, there would appear to have been serious shortcomings in regard to any sort of Environmental Impact Assessment and the nonsense of HGV hard-standing not being safely drained. It may just make people realise that all the fuss about Gateway Phase 1 was necessary to ensure that environmental safeguards were tightened up.

Anonymous said...

Bertie you didnt comment on whether you fancy being a Thanet picket line convener - think you would make a good one! Pensioner- union official, not with a scottish or jawdie accent though!

Bertie Biggles said...

Not my thing, I'm afraid, 11.02. I am seriously worried though that Thanet workers will not get a look in at Thanet Earth. Councillors with high unemployment levels in their wards should pick this issue up and take it on.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Manston.

Anonymous said...

Here are some Thanet jobs.

There's more on the Thanet Earth website too.

Bertie Biggles said...

Thanks, 15.17. Off to look at!

Anonymous said...

I am currently working at thanet earth and i am one of very few english workers who ever said this was going to bring local jobs for local people is speaking out of their rear end Kent staff service's are only interested in hiring polish russian and latvian workers THANET COUNCIL SORT THIS BULLSHIT OUT!!!!!!!!!!