Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Farm businesses ‘reliant on seasonal workers’

September 12, 2017 by  
Filed under News & Business

SeasonalWorkersPlugGaps.2

One in three food and farming businesses fear they will become unviable without overseas workers after the UK leaves the European Union.

Some 36% of businesses surveyed by the Food and Drink Federation said they would become unviable if they had no access to EU workers post-Brexit. Farmers and horticultural businesses were among those quizzed by the survey.

The NFU said the survey laid bare the need for a reliable and competent workforce across the food sector – from farm to fork. An estimated two million EU nationals are currently working in the UK, with 20% of these workers employed across the food and drink supply chain.

NFU deputy president Minette Batters said: “A competent and reliable workforce is vital for British farms to be a dependable source of raw ingredients for the UK food and drink manufacturing sector, worth £108 billion.

“Horticulture alone requires 80,000 seasonal workers a year to plant, pick, grade and pack over 9m tonnes and 300 types of fruit, vegetable and flower crops. But across the sectors, particularly in poultry, pig and dairy, access to both seasonal and permanent workers is absolutely critical.

“An abrupt reduction in the number of EU workers able to work in the UK after we leave the EU would cause massive disruption to the entire food supply chain – a solution for the whole industry is needed to ensure the sector has access to the skills and labour it needs.”

Ms Batters said the NFU was calling for an urgent and clear commitment from government to ensure that farmers had access to sufficient numbers of permanent and seasonal workers post-Brexit. Clarity was needed well before free movement ended in March 2019, she said.

The FDF said the sector faced a rapidly approaching workforce shortage and skills gap which could be solved overnight. The UK could not afford a ‘cliff edge’ Brexit which impacted on farmers’ ability to produce food.

FDF director general Ian Wright said: “Without our dedicated and valued workforce we would be unable to feed the nation. This is why it is imperative that we receive assurances from government about their future, and our wider workforce.”

studiopress

barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online