CLA responds to update on seasonal labour

16 April 2020

Following reports that Eastern European farm workers are being flown to the UK on charter flights to pick fruit and vegetable crops, the CLA has made the following response.

Mark Bridgeman, President of the Country Land and Business Association, said:

“Over 30,000 people have come forward to help farmers, following the call to ‘Feed the Nation’, through the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is great news and shows a tremendous attitude at these difficult times.  But this excellent response in not enough – we need 80,000 people to ensure fruit and vegetables are picked on time this summer.

“Where it is possible and safe to do so in the current circumstances, bringing in workers from overseas to help meet the shortfall is the right thing to do if we want to keep the supermarkets stocked.  However, we would strongly encourage people from across the country to keep coming forward and signing up with recruitment agencies.  There are good jobs available and great opportunities for those currently furloughed, unemployed or students.”