Fruit and veg ‘will run out’ unless Britain charters planes to fly in farm workers from eastern Europe

UK urgently needs to fill 90,000 positions to pick crops that will otherwise die in the fields, warns charity

Charter flights to bring in agricultural workers from eastern Europe are needed as a matter of urgency, otherwise fruit and vegetables will be left unpicked in Britain’s fields, the government is being warned.

Some large farms have already been chartering planes to bring in labour from eastern Europe. But farming organisations and recruitment agencies say that, in the face of massive disruption to the agricultural sector caused by the spread of the coronavirus, the government needs to step in and help organise more flights.

Some 90,000 positions need to be filled, many in just a few weeks’ time. One leading supplier, the charity Concordia, was looking to bring in around 10,000 labourers – half from the EU and the rest from Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Barbados. But all of the non-EU countries are closed. On Wednesday, in a big setback, Ukraine extended its lockdown from 2 April until 23 April.

Full article at The Guardian

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Part-time despot and Dutch mini-pancake connoisseur. Has been known to play a musical instrument or two, much to the chagrin of people and pets around him.