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Farms need 40,000 UK workers to harvest fruit and vegetables

Christian Fernsby |
With the peak picking season just a few weeks away, thousands of British workers are needed to replace the foreign workers who usually travel to the UK to pick crops.

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Farmers are facing an uncertain summer and autumn as industry representatives said they still needed to recruit and retain as many as 40,000 British residents to harvest fruit and vegetables.

There are deep concerns that even if enough workers initially come forward, many will quit as the lockdown eases and they are able to return to their usual employment.

The centrepiece of the recruitment campaign is the government and industry portal Pick for Britain.

The site crashed on Tuesday just as the government was urging people to join a “land army”.

ITV and Waitrose announced a campaign to support the drive, which will include adverts and a film following new recruits.


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