Some claim that Jacob Rees-Mogg has failed to recognize the 'invaluable contribution' of farmers and growers in domestic food production. Rees-Mogg said the UK 'does not need fruit pickers' and suggested 'cheaper fruit' should be imported from abroad.

He also called for greater controls on legal migration and warned numbers are 'getting out of control' after the Office for National Statistics said net migration had increased to 745,000 last year, 140,000 above previous predictions.

After these statements, farming bodies hit back in anger against the North East Somerset MP's comments, claiming he 'failed to recognize the invaluable contribution of growers and pickers in aiding domestic food production.'

Liz Webster, chair of Save British Farming, said Mr. Rees-Mogg was 'letting down farmers': "Jacob Rees-Mogg is not only failing his constituents with his inflammatory anti-British farming outbursts backing foreign lower standard imports but also the country as a whole. All research shows the vast majority of British people back British farming and prefer to eat high-quality British food."

NFU horticulture and potato board chair Martin Emmett said seasonal workers who come to the UK play a 'crucial role in aiding domestic food production': "It is vital for the Government to recognize the importance of the seasonal workers needed to produce and process high-quality, affordable and sustainable food to maintain the UK's food security."

Source: farmersguardian.com