The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee is launching an inquiry into the challenges to the food supply chain from shortages of workers.
UK food production and supply of labour
UK food production depends on securing an adequate supply of labour to get the harvest in and to process the produce. But farm and factory businesses have reported, both prior to and since the EU referendum, that they find it hard to hire enough workers. Each year farms rely on tens of thousands of temporary workers, with some 80,000 of these workers currently coming from outside the UK.
Call for written submissions
The Committee invites evidence on the ability of the UK food production chain to source enough workers to produce affordable food and grow their businesses.
Key questions to address include:
- What are the economic impacts on farm and food supply chain businesses and on consumers from problems in securing adequate labour supplies?
- What is the impact likely to be of changes to freedom of movement rules post-Brexit on the flow of EU and non-EU labour to UK farms and factories?
- What should the Government do to ensure a sufficient labour supply to meet the needs of farmers and food production businesses:
- What sort of immigration rules need to be in place to allow farm and food businesses to employ EU and non-EU nationals in skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled jobs?
- What contribution could seasonal workers schemes provide to addressing labour shortages?
- What should the Government and the food and farming sectors be doing to attract and retain UK workers for all parts of the food supply chain?
Submitting written evidence
Written evidence should be submitted online via the feeding the nation: labour constraints inquiry page. As a guideline submissions should be no longer than 2,000 words.
The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this where possible. We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence.