Monday, November 6, 2017

The Battle of Brexit? Migrant labor shortage leaves fruit rotting on UK farms


BREXIT Campaign Poster

Scheherazade Daneshkhu for the Financial Times reports that fruit and vegetables are being left to rot on British farms because of a shortage of labour, according to the National Farmers’ Union, which is calling on the government to implement a seasonal agricultural workers scheme to fix the problem.  Ali Capper, whose fruit farm on the border between Herefordshire and Worcestershire sells Gala apples to supermarkets, said the business had 20 per cent fewer workers than usual in September. 

The UK farming industry is heavily dependent on pickers from the EU — notably eastern Europe — for seasonal work. Low unemployment rates and the seasonal nature of farm work makes it difficult to attract domestic pickers, the sector argues.  At the same time, the UK has also become less attractive to seasonal workers mostly from Romania and Bulgaria because of the fall in the value of sterling against the euro since Britain voted last year in a referendum to leave the EU.


Current Affairs, Food and Drinks | Permalink


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