COMMONS

Committee examines impact of Brexit on agricultural workforce in Scotland

18 April 2019

The Scottish Affairs Committee continues its inquiry into the future of Scottish agriculture, with a session examining the impact of the Government’s post-Brexit immigration proposals for Scottish farms, and the proposals for a seasonal agricultural workers scheme.

Background

The agri-food sector in Scotland relies heavily on seasonal and permanent employees from outside the UK. Scottish farming businesses employ up to 10,000 non-UK nationals in seasonal positions in the soft fruit and vegetable sectors each year. Over the last two years however, the number of workers coming from the EU has been declining.

Purpose of the session

In the fourth session of its inquiry into the future of Scottish agriculture after Brexit, the Scottish Affairs Committee will examine how Brexit might impact the agricultural workforce in Scotland and whether the Government’s new Seasonal Workers Pilot can help tackle the labour shortages facing the sector.

In the first panel, the Committee will hear from representatives of Angus Growers Ltd, Agrico Ltd and Glenrath Egg farms Ltd to hear about the labour demands of the soft fruit, potato and egg sectors. Angus Growers have indicated that a 10-20% decline in their seasonal workforce has negatively affected their production, with some produce having to be sacrificed as a result.

In the second panel, the operators of the Government’s new seasonal workers pilot scheme will give evidence to the Committee on the roll-out of the scheme in Scotland and the challenges which may be faced in rolling out a permanent scheme.

Witnesses

Tuesday 23 April 2019, Committee room 8, Palace of Westminster

2pm – Sector representatives

  • Sir John Campbell, Glenrath Egg Farms Ltd
  • James Porter, Angus Growers Ltd
  • Archie Gibson, Agrico UK Ltd

2.45pm – Seasonal workers pilot scheme operators

  • Stephanie Maurel, Chief Executive, Concordia
  • Matthew Jarett, Managing Director, Pro-Force Ltd

Further information

Image: Creative Commons/Brian Forbes

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