UK: Pinchbeck grower calls for the Government to allow foreign labor to support horticulture

In 2017 it was reported that Ornamental Horticulture had a value of £24.2 billion as a total GDP footprint. Some 568,000 jobs were supported by the industry in the same year, amounting to 1.6% of the total UK employment yet horticulture is hardy referenced in the national curriculum or promoted as a valued career path.

According to Spalding Today's article written by Sue lamb, that year it generated £5.4 billion and yet it is largely ignored and receives little direct support or fiscal incentives. Yet flowers and plants, parks and gardens deliver exceptional value both for the mind and our wellbeing but also wildlife and the environment.

Yet much of the crops still have to be planted and cropped by hand, some of the grading and transporting can be done by machine but even machines require bodies to run and service them. According to Lamb, "Haulage is a problem, you go through all the pains of growing the flower then you struggle to get it to the shelf for someone to buy and with he Government’s present mode of thought I fail to see how these obstacles are going to be overcome. The Government has to allow some foreign workers to come on an organised visa system direct to the nursery not through a Agriculture Labour provider."

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