There are a range of worker roles in the production of pineapples, these vary from land preparation in the field to loading pineapples into boxes in the pack house. The diagram below provides an idea of the range of worker roles in the pineapple industry. The red text shows the type of agrochemical used at each stage of the process in conventional large scale production.
Worker conditions can be incredibly difficult. Pineapple plants are spiky and difficult to handle, they grow low to the ground requiring workers to stoop over the plants, and the monoculture production method requires that there is no shade over the plants. Therefore, workers have no respite from the suffocating heat of the day. The majority of large scale plantations are in operation for 24 hours a day. Workers therefore work in shifts of anything from 8 to 14 hours, which vary depending on the time of the shift.
The types of tasks, in both the field and the packing hourses involve using heavy machinery and carrying out repetitive tasks that put a lot of strain on the body (i.e., constant bending over to plant seeds, weed and harvest the pineapples). Some companies are, however, introducing mechanised harvesting which goes some way to reduce the strain on workers.