The wonderful world of WWOOF (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) has its origin in London. It was pioneered by Sue Cloppard, who aimed to educate the population on the importance of organic foods and reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. To make this possible and successful, the organization recruited volunteers to work on farms. The essence of the program is to exchange labor for accommodation and meals- the volunteer works on the farm 4-6 hours a day and in exchange the farmergives him shelter and food. Neither the farmer or the tourist pay each other.
In order to participate in the program, the farmer has to pay a small annual fee to the WWOOF organization in the country, claiming that his farm meets certain standards of organic agriculture (ie, at least, the volunteers did not have to deal with toxic chemicals ), and that volunteers working on the farm will be provided with housing that meets health standards.
For his/her part, the volunteer must pay an annual membership fee ($ 20-60) to the WWOOF organization in the country where he/she would like to work. He/she will then receive a directory of farmers participating in the program in this country, and can then negotiate with any of them on the periods of work for them. Working hours with WWOOF can differ based on your age, where you are working and what type of work you are doing. The duration of your stay will also depend on these factors and on the facilities available- You can attend for a few weeks, months or even go for years if there is work for you!
Anyone can, of course, work on farms in their country of origin, as well as in a country where he/she has a right of permanent residence. To work in other countries may be a need to acquire the appropriate visa . The type of visa required depends on the immigration laws and practices of the country visited, as an ordinary tourist visa (visa or equivalent) may, in some countries be sufficient for voluntary work but in others a specific work visa may be required.
In some cases, countries allow citizens of another contracting party to freely live and work in their territory. (For example, the countries in the European Union , and Australia with New Zealand in accordance with the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement ). This, of course, allows their citizens to work on WWOOF farms.
There are also agreements between a number of countries, mainly in Europe, the British Commonwealth , and East Asia, which allow young people of these countries to obtain Working Holiday Visas , which allow them to work a year or two in their chosen country.
WWOOF volunteers are able to work on a tourist visa, provided that the main purpose of visiting Australia is tourism, a volunteer does not receive a salary (housing and meals, or reimbursement of expenses is allowed), and that the farmer can prove he is not abusing the WWOOF program in order to obtain free labour!
In principle, foreign nationals need special permission (work permit) to work in Canada. However, it is not required for employment, for which no salary is paid, and taking part in a foreigner does not compete with the Canadian labor force. Thus, short-term work (1-4 weeks) on the principles, comparable to the WWOOF does not require special permission from , and thus it can be practiced while in Canada, such as student or tourist visa.