The EU community agricultural sector will have to deal with the closure of the EU borders, as it will prevent access foreign labor to work in the harvest of different European countries, as they do each season. Germany and France alone need 500,000 temporary workers.
Without the usual 10,000 Moroccan seasonal workers that harvest the Spanish strawberries and berries, Spain is looking among its national population for workers to fill these spots now, as well as workers to carry out other activities in the following campaign, such as the thinning of peach trees, which is usually done by Polish or Romanian workers.
Union sources have stated that they were looking for workers among the unemployed due to the coronavirus crisis and among the people who usually work in the hospitality industry, which has been strongly affected by the crisis, and that can now find the possibility of working in the countryside.
German authorities have launched an initiative to hire up to 300,000 workers for the next asparagus, strawberry, and cabbage harvests, while also hiring people from other sectors that have been paralyzed by the pandemic.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Agriculture of France, Didier Guillaume, asked the unemployed and people who were not active due to the confinement measures to work in the agricultural sector, which currently has 200,000 openings for direct jobs. In turn, the main French agricultural union, FNSEA, launched a platform to contact potential candidates with farmers.
The situation in Italy, one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, has been delicate for weeks, as foreign workers returned to their countries, leaving the countryside without most of its work force. According to data from Confagricoltura, the strawberry, cherry and peach harvests, among other crops, are in danger; the flower and plant sectors are also very affected.
Meanwhile, Morocco's agricultural export sector, which hasn't been affected by mobility restrictions, has started to benefit from the health crisis in Spain, Italy, and Portugal. In addition the demand for their products has increased in Northern Europe and North America.