Short­age of farm work­ers

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The num­ber of sea­sonal work­ers coming to work on Bri­tish farms has dropped by 17 per cent since Jan­uary, ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey by the Na­tional Farm­ers’ Union (NFU).

As a re­sult, some farms have been left “crit­i­cally short” of peo­ple to har­vest fruit and veg­eta­bles dur­ing the busy sea­son.

There were more than 1,500 un­filled va­can­cies on farms dur­ing May alone.

The NFU has called on new DEFRA sec­re­tary Michael Gove to pro­vide clar­ity on how farms will be able to ac­cess a re­li­able work­force both now and af­ter the UK leaves the Euro­pean Union.

“A lack of clar­ity re­gard­ing the UK’s fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with the EU and a weak­ened ster­ling has con­trib­uted to the re­duc­tion in work­ers on farm now be­ing re­ported by labour providers who source sea­sonal work­ers,” said the NFU’s Ali Cap­per.

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