NFU Deputy President Minette Batters will be giving evidence at a House of Lords EU Home Affairs inquiry today into the UK-EU movement of people.
During the evidence session, Ms Batters will reinforce how critical EU workers are to agricultural and horticultural businesses but also for the wider supply chain. She will also raise the importance of access to a reliable and competent workforce for agriculture and workers across the skills spectrum are needed throughout the sector.
Ms Batters said: “The NFU has been vocal on how dependent the agriculture and horticulture sector is on workers from the EU, such as helping to pick fruit and veg, and we are seeking clarity from Government on how access would look moving forward.
“As well as the farm businesses that produce our great British food, the wider supply chain is reliant on workers from EU countries, both permanently and seasonally, to help ensure food is on plates across the country.
“There is a serious prospect of aspects of food production moving abroad due to a lack of workers available for these businesses. With unemployment figures extremely low, there is simply a lack of people available for businesses to employ and that is why we are grateful to the inquiry inviting us to give evidence today.”
The committee is examining possible future arrangements for migration of EU citizens to the UK, after leaving the EU, and the NFU will be giving evidence alongside the Chief Executive of NHS Employers.
The NFU will outline the key considerations for UK-EU migration prior to Brexit negotiation and provide a snapshot of the workforce in the agricultural sector.