Haygrove from Ledbury, Herefordshire, is moving part of its raspberry and blueberry production to China because of uncertainty over the availability of pickers. Angus Davison the founder of Haygrove (which has an annual turner of £101 million), told The Guardian: “In the UK we employ 230 full-time and 1,150 seasonal workers but are now reducing that to 950 because of Brexit nervousness.”
Mr Davison said that he cannot wait for the government to reveal its immigration policy as this year’s harvest was planned last year. He has written to the Prime Minister, pleading with her to take urgent action, but so far, she had not replied.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report on all sectors of the economy is unlikely to be published until the autumn. Mr Davison said: “I don’t think the new MAC paper is worth the paper it’s written on,” echoing calls elsewhere in business for the report to be brought forward. Haygrove has already started planting blueberries and raspberries in the Yunnan province in China.