The price of British strawberries could rise by more than a third if the UK cannot ensure access to European workers after Brexit, farmers have warned.
Producers have called on the government to introduce a permit scheme for seasonal workers to ensure that the expansion of soft fruit production in the UK is not brought to a halt.
Farmers say the number of seasonal workers coming to the UK this year has already dropped by 17%, due to the lack of clarity on the future for EU workers in post-Brexit Britain.
Farmers also say access to EU workers is vital to sustain the industry, as 9 out of 10 seasonal pickers and packers of British soft fruit currently come from the European Union, primarily Poland, Bulgaria and Romania.
The soft fruit industry is one of the UK’s biggest users of EU seasonal labor as it is harder to mechanize the handling of its delicate and tricky-to-pick produce. These warnings echo those of the wider farming community.
Source article: http://iservice.ltn.com.tw/Service/english/english.php?engno=1120224&day=2017-07-20