And the headlines scream:
“Fruit farming on ‘brink of collapse’ as Brexit causes shortage of pickers”
“Applications for seasonal work at one Kent-based company are down 90% in the last two years and there are fears for the future”
“A shortage of workers is driving up wages: are we entering a new economic era?”
“Brexit ‘leads to a 90% drop’ in the number of foreign workers coming to the UK to work on farms in the summer”
In the UK, over the last four weeks, labour supply has got significantly worse. Some Farms have had to raise wages by over 60% to nearly £20 per hour for packhouse staff and in addition pay them up to £20 in addition a day to just turn up for work. Businesses bringing product in from overseas are suffering the same issues and are now potentially looking to pack at their international source to supply their UK markets. Or just not supply the UK again.
This is of course totally unsustainable.
Why are we in this situation and what is the potential range of short and long term solutions?
Join us with industry experts to hear their views in this extremely challenging time around labour.
Tim O’Malley – Group MD of Nationwide Produce
Derek Wilkinson – Managing Director Sandfields Farms Ltd
Mark Crawford – Global Sales & Marketing Director – Blues Skies
Max MacGillivray – Editor in Chief of Beanstalk Global
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Filmed 15th June 2021
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