As the British apple season gets into full swing, producers have reiterated concerns about the availability of labour and the potential impacts on the future of the UK fruit industry.
“All British apples are picked by hand, which means that the harvest from orchards is highly labour-intensive,” Steven Munday, chief executive of English Apples and Pears told The Guardian. “We’re working hard with the National Farmers’ Union and other bodies to lobby for access to the required seasonal labour after Brexit.”
John Hardman of labour provider Hops added, “We have managed to scrape by this year but 2018 is going to be a cliff edge. Apples and pears are a particular problem because it’s such a short season – typically six weeks, which means we cannot attract UK workers because of the welfare system.”
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