UK labor crisis negatively affects profit margins

In the UK, competition for workers is so high that some firms have raised hourly wages by 5 per cent and companies such as West Sussex vegetable specialist Barfoots of Botley have promised a £600 bonus if workers stay for 12 weeks this summer.

However, according to Ali Capper, NFU horticulture and potatoes board chair, wage rises were not the solution. She said: "We need an immigration policy that is fit for purpose and while our sector is lucky in that we have the permit scheme, it is not bringing us enough people and I can only see the EU picture getting worse.” She is therefore calling on the government to make the Seasonal Agricultural Workers pilot scheme permanent to instill grower confidence. reports on the British Growers Association saying that margins were already being squeezed, with employers investing in ‘very necessary and important’ regulations to keep staff safe from the virus.

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