UK: Grower warns industry would 'collapse' without migrant workers

A Hampshire farmer has warned that further restrictions on migrant workers coming to the UK could prove devastating for the farming industry. It comes after the government announced that UK net migration had hit a record high of 606,600 in 2022.

The increase was mainly from people arriving from non-EU countries on government-issued visas to study, work or join family members. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has admitted that net migration was "too high" but batted away suggestions it was out of control.

But since Brexit, the number of people who come to the UK and work on farms has fallen, making recruitment far more difficult. The industry - heavily reliant on migrant labor - warns that it is also suffering as a consequence of the pandemic.

The international workforce is essential to businesses like Mr. Collett's, as they rely on migrant workers to support them during peak times. "The British workforce is too thin on the ground to cover the sheer number of people needed in the farming and food industry," he explained. "Brits are not best suited to manual labor because we have not had a labor economy in the UK for several generations now.


Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.