Monday, 17 September 2018

Brexit: and Cornish farmers calling the goverment's temporary agricultural worker visa scheme a 'sop'

Back in February, a BBC documentary looked at how Brits would cope with veg-picking in Devon:
Janners try farm work - and say EU migrants are welcome to the jobs - Plymouth Live

The Sun's reporting was not very complimentary:
Eastern Europeans work 10 times faster than moaning Brits who whinge about the cold in new TV doc

But it's not that easy for the locals:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and why there is no compulsion to pick fruit >>> high levels of employment in the UK and the difficulty of commuting in rural areas

And migrant labour isn't that keen either:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and struggling to recruit skilled labour in the food and drink industry
Futures Forum: Brexit: and migrant workers not wanting to work on West Country farms

The question being - what's going to happen to our food production in the UK when Brexit happens?
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the day the immigrants left

West Country farmers have been asking these questions: 

Cornwall growers 'puzzled' by EU-worker pilot scheme

Neil Gallacher, Business & Industry Correspondent
BBC Spotlight
A government pilot scheme to let non-EU migrant workers come to Britain to pick fruit and flowers has left some Cornwall-based growers puzzled.
UK growers will be able to recruit non-EU migrants as seasonal workers after Brexit under the new pilot scheme. It will run between spring 2019 and December 2020. The visas for up to 2,500 workers a year will last for six months.
Flower grower James Hosking of Fentongollan Farm said: "It looks like a very, very modest move. We alone need 60-70 people on our farm. So our needs would in theory take up about 3% of the national total."

Jeremy Best of Mitchell Fruit Garden said: "It looks like a sop. We need 95,000 seasonal workers nationally, not 2,500. We need more information but I suspect it's nothing more than appeasement that they're offering here."

The NFU nationally however described it as is "a major victory for the NFU, its members and the public".
A Defra spokesman told the BBC on Thursday morning that the question of why only 2,500 workers are included - and why only Non-European Union nationals at that - was an immigration matter, and therefore a question for the Home Office. So far the Home Office has not responded.

BBC Devon & Cornwall Live: 6 September - BBC News

No one seems happy with the proposed system of migrant labour following Brexit:
Brexit: farmers criticise temporary agricultural worker visa scheme | Environment | The Guardian
Farmers tell Gove: lack of migrant workers now 'mission critical' | Politics | The Guardian