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Seasonal workers

In the UK large numbers of seasonal workers are required to pick the fresh fruit and vegetables that we grow. These workers have traditionally come from from out side the UK and have been seen as a hugely valuable workforce in this sector. A recent report (2018), by the NFU, from data collected from  January to May 2017 has seen a significant drop in the number of workers coming from abroad to work on farms. There has been a 17% over all drop in numbers, with a higher percentage drop of 50% of those workers who return year after year to farms to work. The NfU is saying that this will have a major impact in the ability for farms to be able to pick all the produce that they grow and could leave to some produce laying unpicked in fields and being allowed to rot (nfuonline.com).
The reasons for this drop in workers could be attributed to the weaker pound and the uncertainty over Brexit and what it may mean for those coming from countries such as Poland to work for short periods. It is hoped by the farming community that the Seasonal Agricultural Workers scheme will be re introduced by the government which will mean that permits can be granted for seasonal workers from outside the EU to come and work on farms at peak picking season. It is often argued that these are jobs that could be done by workers in the UK, however farmers and producers often find that these are jobs that UK workers do not want to do and cannot be filled within the UK alone. These workers from outside the EU are often seen as a vital part of a businesses success and without them harvest time will become very challenging. 




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