The Grampian Growers co-operative has welcomed early indications that the Home Office will allow daffodil producers access to labour in next year’s Seasonal Workers Scheme (SWS).
The Montrose-based group’s managing director Mark Clark said he hoped members would be able to recruit from the seasonal workforce in the spring, once pickers have completed the seasons in Cornwall and Lincolnshire. “We’ve pushed really hard for this, and it’s badly needed,” he said.
“Our producers need around 300 pickers in total, and last year the most they had on the best day was 140, so even if we get 100 of the seasonal workforce it would be a major boost.
“We believe there will be strong demand for Scottish flowers next year, partly because of the severe labour shortage and also because Easter is late which suits our season.” While the ornamentals sector is relieved to be included in the scheme, the Home Office is not expected to extend the number of permits next year.
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