NFU responds to visas being granted to poultry workers

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“The NFU has worked with the wider food and drink industry to help evidence the needs of the sector and we look forward to working with government on applying the scheme for poultry and, in particular, access for smaller producers.

“We will also continue to work with government to find solutions for the wider labour needs, including trained and able butchers for pork production to deal with the increasingly serious build-up of pigs on farm and the risk of welfare issues.”

Following an emergency NFU-convened roundtable on Tuesday 21 September, the NFU along with 11 co-signatories wrote to the PM on Wednesday 22 September asking for:

  • The introduction of a 12-month Covid Recovery Visa which would enable all involved throughout the supply chain to recruit critical roles as a short-term response to labour shortages.
  • Commitment to a permanent, revised and expanded Seasonal Worker Scheme for UK horticulture to ensure it is flexible and large enough to meet the industry’s workforce needs.
  • An urgent review by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on the impact of ending free movement on the food & farming sector, in the same way it is doing for adult social care.

Signatories to the letter included:

  • Agricultural Industries Confederation Limited
  • British Frozen Food Federation
  • British Meat Processors Association
  • British Poultry Council Limited
  • Dairy UK Limited
  • Federation of Wholesale Distributers
  • Food and Drink Federation
  • National Farmers’ Union
  • National Pig Association
  • Road Haulage Association Limited
  • The Cold Chain Federation
  • UK Hospitality