"Seasonal workers bring reality of war close to UK"

At the time of writing, we have 200 flower croppers working happily in fields harvesting daffodils in preparation for the huge Mother’s Day demand – next weekend on 27 March, writes Matthew Naylor, a
Farmers Weekly Opinion writer.

All of our regular seasonal staff returned in January and the fears we had about a shortage of workers didn’t materialize. We have been busy for the past couple of years assisting our team with their applications for settled status, plus we have invested in more staff accommodation and increased our pay rates by 20% this year.

The investment appears to have paid off and we will still be able to do our work, albeit with lower profits. The old adage that “predicted shortages never happen” has been true in this respect. In every other respect on the farm, however, the predictions of shortages have been much more accurate and we are facing large cost increases and poor availability for many inputs.

Most of our workforce come from Romania, so the humanitarian tragedy taking place in Ukraine feels close to home. The personal stories we hear from them and the shocking scenes in the media reveal how precious and fragile are the circumstances of a happy and peaceful life, and how easy it is to take them for granted.

Read the complete article at www.fwi.co.uk.


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