UK Government asks people to pick fruit and veg for Britain

After all the controversy over fruit pickers being flown into Ireland AgriLand noted with interest the #PickForBritain campaign.

The UK Government has urged students and furloughed workers to apply for seasonal farm work.

The Pick for Britain website was launched in partnership with the industry to help match work opportunities with job seekers and aims to fill vacant positions on farms throughout the harvest period.

The UK Government has confirmed that workers who have been furloughed from their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic and who are contractually allowed to work for another employer can take on this seasonal work while continuing to receive 80% of their salary from the government.

The Pick for Britain website will be updated regularly with new opportunities as the demand for fruit and vegetable pickers grows over the coming months.

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Scotland secretary Alister Jack stated: “Many of Scotland’s farms, in particular our soft fruit growers, rely on seasonal labour. As we near peak harvest time I urge job seekers to sign up for this crucial work at the Pick for Britain website.

I am in no doubt British workers and students will seize the opportunity to feed the UK and help the economy in these most challenging of times.

“Together, the UK Government, industry and workers will save the Scottish strawberry and our other delicious produce,” he added.

Supported by Prince Charles

The campaign has been promoted by the Prince of Wales. In a video posted to Twitter Prince Charles stated: “At this time of great uncertainty many of our normal routines and regular patterns have been challenged.

“The food and farming sector is no exception. If we are to harvest British fruit and vegetable this year we need an army of people to help.

Food does not happen by magic. It all begins with our remarkable farmers and growers.

“If the last few weeks have proved anything it is that food is precious and valued and it cannot be taken for granted.

“In the coming months many thousands of people will be needed to bring in the crops. It will be hard graft, but is hugely important if we are to avoid the growing crops going to waste,” he added.