MPs back CLA call for certainty to help feed the nation

27 April 2017

Farmers and other rural businesses have received a boost from MPs who have backed a call to reintroduce a scheme for migrants to continue working in roles vital to the rural economy.  

Feeding the nation: labour constraints, a report out today (27 April) from an influential group of MPs backs the comments made by the CLA into how labour constraints would affect the ability of farmers to feed the nation post-Brexit.

The CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses gave evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Select Committee inquiry earlier this year and called for a scheme to allow migrants of both EU and non-EU countries to enter the UK for a set period of time and for a specific job vital to the needs of the rural economy.

CLA Deputy President Tim Breitmeyer said: “The rural economy is already under pressure from labour shortages and the committee has recognised our concerns. They are entirely right to say that the UK agricultural sector will fail to feed the nation successfullywithout access to migrant workers.

“We agree with the committee that a Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme is the best way to ensure continued access to askilled and secure workforce so farmers can keep producing the food we eat.

“The problem is that the Government is not acting fast enough to deal with this immediate issue. Every week that goes by without a commitment to introduce a suitable scheme creates risk for businesses across the rural economy. This should be the first priority of Ministers when they get back to their desks in June.”

The report Feeding the nation: labour constraints can be read here.