UK soft fruit growers and food processors face another season of ‘rotting crops’

Members of the Scottish Parliament have warned that soft fruit will again be left to ‘rot in the fields’, with the UK’s North East being hardest hit by the economic impact of Brexit. A debate on the on the impact of Brexit on skills and staff was held by the SNP Government yesterday afternoon. During the meeting, a motion highlighting the commitment to invest an additional £500 million to support new jobs and reskill people for the future was passed.

Soft fruit companies warned earlier this year the UK Government was sabotaging the seasonal workers scheme by keeping recruitment companies ‘secret’.

A motion highlighting the commitment to invest an additional £500 million over the current parliamentary session to support new jobs and reskill people for the future was passed by 91 votes to 29, with one abstention.

SNP Perthshire South and Kinross-shire MSP Jim Fairlie warned of another soft fruit season with wasted crops, due to a lack of pickers. Thecourier.co.uk quoted him as saying:  “Brexit presents some very real hurdles. The ending of freedom of movement is going to have enormous consequences for farmers with potentially huge shortages of seasonal  agricultural workers during this picking season. The UK Government has deliberately delayed the allocation of licenses which means companies will have real difficulty recruiting staff to get them here in time for the picking season.”

We are going to be left literally with crops unpicked and stuff rotting in the fields. It is not as if it has not happened before. It will put real pressure on other areas of the economy, food processors, abattoirs and the red meat sector.”


Photo source: Dreamstime.com


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