Polish growers are warning of an impending crisis due to a shortage of seasonal agricultural workers. Many of these would normally come from Ukraine, but now they are prevented from doing so by the current restrictions. Industry groups have appealed to the government for help.
Meanwhile, in Poland’s west, many of those who have business or family connections spanning both sides of the borders with Germany and the Czech Republic have also called for regulations to be relaxed. They were given support today by the far right’s presidential candidate, who called on the government to reopen the borders for workers.
“Without seasonal workers it will be impossible to proceed with picking the crops,” warned Jacek Podgórski, director of the Institute of Agricultural Economics, speaking to Radio Maryja. “It might not be worth picking the fruit at all.”
Certain crops require swift picking and processing in order preserve the quality of the produce. Without enough seasonal workers to do this, warn producers, the agricultural sector faces billions of zloty in losses and Poland may struggle to maintain its food supply chain.
The problems will exacerbate the existing challenges Poland faces; this year the country is expecting one of its worst droughts in over a century. Its consumers are already experiencing some of the highest levels of inflation in the world, driven mainly by rising food prices.