Student entrepreneurs want to help make the Swedish harvest possible this year

Published: 2020-04-14

The new ”Harvest Time” platform has one purpose: to make harvesting possible in Sweden this year. Behind the project are the entrepreneurship students Atakan Ari and Marcus Petersson from the Lund University School of Economics and Management, and the entrepreneur Johan Broddfelt.

Who's going to pick this summer's strawberries? Swedish harvest time is approaching and at the same time, thousands of agriculture workers are missing – the closed borders brought by the new coronavirus prevent foreign workers from reaching Sweden, media and the Federation of Swedish farmers report.

Video interview in English

Students Marcus Petersson and Atakan Ari heard about the possible workforce shortage and took upon themselves to quickly set about their current project on the Master's programme in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at LUSEM. Their new project goal is to focus on matching farmers who need labour, with people who are willing to help. Together with their mentor Johan Broddfelt, they recently launched the free Skördetid (Harvest Time) web service.

”If we, in two months time, can see that the shelves in the grocery store are full of strawberries and other fruits and vegetables from Sweden, and if we can know that we have been involved in making a small part of that possible; yes, that would be absolutely fantastic,” says Marcus Petersson.

How the service ”Skördetid” works

Farmers can register and specify their need for labour. Willing job seekers can also register and then find registered farms on a map. The job seeker can then register for the specific job offers of the farm. The farmer will be notified of this and he or she can continue the process.

Hundreds of prospective workers have already signed up since the service launched just before Easter this year. More farms are needed though!

Longer article available in Swedish