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Farmers in Germany and Tyrol sound the alarm

Producers do not have enough seasonal workers

Usually in the month of May, the harvest season starts all over Germany and in neighboring countries. Above all farmers are concerned with spring products asparagus and strawberries, that are grown in large quantities in the domestic fields. But farmers are sounding the alarm: they lack seasonal workers from Poland and other Eastern European countries. The consequences are catastrophic: Many hectares of crop fields have already shut down.

In the state of Brandenburg, the situation is as bad as can be. Asparagus producer Heinrich Thiermann manages about 500 hectares near Potsdam. He talks to the Märkische Allgemeine about a non-existent labour pool because of the positive economic developments in Poland and Hungary. "We are reducing our acreage by 30 percent," he says. That will amount to at least 800,000 kg of Brandenburg asparagus alone from this region, according to the regional newspaper.

Among the farmers in Tyrol, the lack of harvest workers is a sensitive issue. Shortly before their peak season, about 90 farmers have sounded the alarm: Not only are there insufficient seasonal workers from the eastern EU countries, but workers from other countries such as the Ukraine are not showing up either. As a result, according to the National Chamber of Agriculture, there will even be a shortage of produce. This concerns not only harvesting in the fields, but also the processing of the products.

The 90 Tyrolean vegetable and fruit growers cultivate an area of around 1,200 hectares. At an appointment next week in Vienna, this urgent problem will be put forth again.

Source: Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung / Tyrol
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