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Evidence sought on labour constraints

12 February 2018

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee is re-opening an inquiry to investigate whether the labour situation in agriculture, horticulture and food production has improved or deteriorated over the past year, and to inquire whether the Government’s statements made at the time of the previous inquiry held last year are accurate.

The Committee published its report ‘Feeding the nation: labour constraints’ in April 2017.

FPC gave written and oral evidence to a further inquiry by EFRA held in November 2017 at which the Committee stated its intention to come back to labour constraints.

The Committee is asking:

  1. Has the labour supply available to your business/sector improved or deteriorated in the past 12 months? What effect has this had on the economic performance of your business/sector?
  2. What estimate have you made of the labour situation in your business/sector over the next 12 months and up to the UK’s planned ate for leaving the UK?
  3. The Government in early 2017 told the then Committee that reports of foreign labour shortages were “anecdotal” and that there would not be a problem of foreign labour supply while the UK remained subject to free movement rules as a member of the European Union. Has this statement proven accurate, of have difficulties in recruiting foreign labour increased even though the UK remains a member of the EU?
  4. In early 2017, the Government’s long-term policy aim was to make the agricultural, horticultural and food sectors “less reliant on migrant labour and use more UK workers”. Has there been any sign of successful Government action towards that objective?

 

Submissions are open to 26 February.

If you would like FPC respond on your behalf, then we would be pleased to hear from you and we will collate an industry response. Please provide any feedback to sian@freshproduce.org.uk by 20 February.

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