More Brexit uncertainty

British farmer partly moves fruit-growing to China

Up to 200 seasonal jobs have gone at Haygrove’s farm in Ledbury, Herefordshire, and some of the company’s raspberry and blueberry-growing will be relocated to Yunnan province in China. The reason is the continuing uncertainty over migrant labour due to Brexit.

Angus Davison, Haygrove’s founder: “In the UK we employ 230 full-time and 1,150 seasonal workers, but we are now reducing that to 950 because of Brexit nervousness.” The company has a turnover of £101 million.

Davison has even written to prime minister Theresa May, pleading with her to take urgent action: “It is appreciated that treating one industry differently to another is difficult; however agriculture, unlike construction and hospitality, can be exported. If enough people are not made available to do the work, the work can be taken to the people.”

The Guardian reported: As farmers across the country warned of the risks of planting food that could rot in the fields, Davison said he had to act because of “super-tight” profit margins.

He said May’s vow to end freedom of movement from March next year would have disastrous consequences for farmers dependent on seasonal EU workers. If he can’t get the migrant workers, he will have to move more of his business overseas or close down altogether.

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