With truffle season well underway, Manjimup success story Oak Valley Truffles – the largest truffière in Australia – will need all hands on deck for the season ahead.
As the business gears up for a busy harvest, a dedicated team of supported employees from the Shire of Manjimup will step up to assist.
“We’re lucky to have a team of people with disability from the Shire’s property services crew with us every fortnight to help with maintenance of the grounds – from gardening and mowing to weed control and pruning,” said Oak Valley’s General Manager, Damon Boorman.
“We have one largest producing truffle plantations in the world, with more than 75 hectares of oak and hazel trees. As we move into harvest time, we really can’t do without the extra help to keep the site in good shape.”
Shire of Manjimup Director Works and Services, Michael Leers, said that Oak Valley is just one of many businesses that is benefiting from employing people with disability.
“Less than half of working age (15-64) people with disability are employed – and yet we know that inclusive workplaces can create so much opportunity, from lower staff turnover to improved productivity, higher morale, and a wealth of creativity and innovation,” he added.
“Employing people with disability also establishes your business as an organisation committed to diversity and inclusion,” Michael said.
Damon agrees. “For us, the team has been fantastic – they have a great attitude, enjoy what they’re doing, and they get the job done well,” he said.
“My advice to other businesses considering employing people with disability – give it a go!”
Oak Valley is the region’s leading producer and exporter of quality black truffles. It has engaged people with disability through the Shire of Manjimup for 18 months.