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UK: Fewer daffodil flowers to be harvested ‘due to lack of pickers’

Brexit has contributed to a shortage of flower pickers in the UK, a bulb grower has said. Ordinarily, Taylors Bulbs in Holbeach, Lincolnshire harvests around 2.5 million cut daffodil flowers per year. Kevin Haynes, horticulture manager, said he expects the firm to harvest around a third of that this year due to a lack of pickers.
He said that in a “normal year” around 150 pickers would harvest the daffodils, but this year they have just 30.

“Because of Brexit we’re not allowed to bring in staff,” said Mr Haynes.
“There’s a shortage of flower pickers because of Brexit. “We’re not allowed to bring people over for flowers and ornamental, it’s only for fruit and veg. “Brexit has also created a lot of paperwork and problems for exports.”

Mr Haynes said that the 30 Romanian pickers working on the harvest live permanently in the UK and are contracted through an agency.
In previous years, further pickers came from eastern Europe and the firm has not recruited pickers domestically. He added that he is not seeking further pickers for the daffodils this year as they are not exporting. According to him, it had been a “good year” despite the shortage of pickers as the firm’s focus is on the bulbs, which can be harvested by machines.

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