Government announces Pick for Britain campaign to recruit UK horticultural workers

The government has announced the Pick for Britain campaign, acknowledging that due to Covid-19 there are only a third of the workers required to pick the necessary crops in the UK. The NFU estimates that only 1% of horticultural workers are usually British residents, with the majority of the 75,000 workers needed usually come from Bulgaria and Romania and other European countries. With lockdown in place, there is an estimated 50,000-labourer deficit. It is hoped that furloughed staff and those who have recently become unemployed will take up the roles. The predicament begs the question as to whether having only 1% of your workforce resident in the country is a food secure approach, and whether this percentage should be built up to a higher level to complement the skilled labour coming in from other parts of Europe.

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