The farmworkers go at a furious pace, kicking up clouds of dust as they crouch down to grab several tomatoes at a time, put them in plastic buckets and hurry them over to be weighed.
The workers are all identified by numbers on this ranch in a dusty valley of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, where the work day starts at 6:00 am and lasts between nine and 14 hours.
“Number 10!” “Number 24!” “Five!” they call out as they dump their 20-kilogram (45-pound) buckets, racing to reach their daily quota.
They have to pick a minimum of 700 kilograms to earn a day’s pay of 120 pesos ($7.80).
Each extra bucket earns them a small bonus. The best manage to pick three tonnes, enough to fill one of the trucks that transport the tomatoes to wholesalers in the United States.