NFU16: Make your voice heard on NLW

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Growers have been urged to meet with their local MPs as soon as possible to raise concerns over the impact the unanticipated introduction of the National Living Wage will have on the industry.

Speaking at the horticulture and potatoes breakout session on day one of the NFU Conference, Ali Capper said it was essential they speak to their MPs to explain that labour represents a massive part of costs to the sector – and that the introduction of the NLW could have devastating impacts on horticulture businesses.

Citing the NFU’s report, produced by Anderson’s, she said labour costs amounted to as much as 70% of turnover for horticulture businesses.

“We need to make sure that members are ready for the for the introduction of the National Living Wage because there are significant penalties in place. We understand that the GLA will be looking for breaches of standard, such as those surrounding age discrimination, government ministers need to understand that the idea that we can just employ people under the age of 25 to fix this, is not an option," she said.

“We really need MP and ministerial understanding of this issue and it was clear today that we didn’t get that. We would make a plea that if you haven’t already met with your MP, please could you do so. I have to say that the MPs that attended the briefing in Westminster were very supportive and they understand the issue. There is nothing like meeting an MP in person.”

While much of the session focussed on the NLW, other discussions surrounding problems in the supply chain, which chairman Guy Poskitt said had become too complicated. He suggested that others were lined up to sign up to the NFU’s Fruit and Veg Pledge. There were further discussions about the merits of extending the GCA’s powers into ornamentals, one of the NFU’s asks, and a discussion about wonky veg and product specification.


Last edited on: 24:02:2016

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  • Posted by: Simon KennyPosted on: 24/02/2016 16:55:31

    Comment: Bluntly not an issue to get public support for, and if growers cant not afford to pay the living wage they should perhaps think about packing it in or making more of an issue of the behaviour of the Supermarkets. Real issue is how many hill farmers have a chance of actually earning the living wage, suggest very few, now there is a an issue that might get some traction with the public
  • Posted by: john jacksonPosted on: 27/02/2016 09:50:55

    Comment: living wage issues will not become apparent until after the EU vote, if we elect to stay in then wages will come into force and who ever cant afford it will go out of business, sad but true,if on other hand we elect to leave EU then there will be a vast shortage of food in UK and the government will have to bend over backwards and help the horticultural industry. Because i believe all EU produce will be stopped and it will go back to as it was prior to 1972

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