‘Lack of clarity’ around issue of seasonal farm workers

Comments by Defra secretary Andrea Leadsom that British people rather than should fill fruit-picking jobs demonstrate significant confusion about what constitutes a career in agriculture, argues Caroline Nye.

By bunching the concept of an agricultural career up with preconceived notions of seasonal labour, she has created a precarious lack of clarity around the issues.

Caroline Nye, Exeter University, The Conversation

Nye argues that Andrea Leadsom was right to say that more young people should be encouraged to “engage in countryside matters”.

But she says it is unlikely that more British workers will be encouraged to pick fruit, so any potential seasonal labour shortage still needs to be urgently addressed.

Nye says new entrants to the permanent agricultural workforce also need to be suitably encouraged, trained and invested in, to secure the future of British agriculture.

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