NZ’s love for cherries is about to be satisfied with the stone fruit harvest just getting underway. But like our strawberry crop, there is a potential loss of $50 million dollars to the Central Otago economy if the cherries can’t be picked due to lack of pickers. Tim Jones of 45 South Cherries says incentives are required to encourage locals to join the harvest with few backpackers available. Good pickers can earn up to $400 a day and Summerfruit NZ CEO Richard Palmer says growers are offering better pay, beer and pizzas to encourage people to give the harvest a go.