Some farms are struggling to fulfil their delivery commitments, claiming they can’t recruit enough numbers to assist them in harvesting their produce.
A Lincolnshire farmer, who supplies Brussels sprouts to supermarkets across Britain, has had to go new lengths in a bid to attract foreign employees after almost failing to deliver his Christmas orders due to a lack of manpower.
Mike Capps is just one of the farmers who has built the improved accommodation, which features plush caravans and leisure facilities as he looks to counteract dwindling employee numbers.
Farmers have had to go to extraordinary lengths to employ migrant workers post-Brexit
We’ve heard they’ve left because of threats and intimidation
Minister Neil Vickers
He said: “Without our business would not operate, that is the bottom line.
“The industry we’re in – the hours and conditions we work in outside – we have to have migrant workers.”
Neil Vickers, who is a minister at Boston Methodist Church, has also noticed a significant drop in migrants in the area after offering his church as a shelter for homeless migrants suffering in the cold weather.
Lincolnshire voters were among the most eurosceptic in the UK, with over 75 per cent in Boston voting to Leave the EU.
Mr Vickers claimed that due to the dwindling exchange rate of the pound to the euro, migrant workers are not able to send as much money home as before.
The Minister added: “We’ve heard they’ve left because of threats and intimidation and possibly they are just fed up.”
James Truscott, whose company Branston processes 350,000 tonnes of potatoes a year, called on politicians to introduce a permit scheme so farms and food manufacturers can maintain their migrant workforce post-Brexit.
He said: “It is pretty critical. I think if you’re a farmer, you always need seasonal people to come onto your land and get the harvest in.
“I suspect if they don’t have that, they might have to grow different things that don’t require people.”
Speaking at the National Farmers’ Union Scotland’s AGM in Glasgow, the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson told farmers that ministers understand their concerns over access to migrant workers.
Ruth Davidson has said she will fight to protect farmers' needs EU Migrants: Investigation on Boston's farming Fri, August 19, 2016
British citizens CAN get jobs in a town swamped by EU migrants, but the work has been branded as "hellish" even by Eastern Europeans who have travelled thousands of miles to take up most of the posts. An Express.co.uk investigation found UK residents can get casual work on farms in and around Boston in Lincolnshire
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A lorry takes freshly picked produce from a field near Boston off to market
Ms Davidson said the country needs an immigration policy which serves agriculture as its top priority.
She told delegates: “I also know that the concerns of vegetable farmers in Fife are the same as those of apple farmers in Cornwall.
“I don’t think – therefore – that the answer is to create separate immigration policy by region or geography.
“I think we need an immigration policy that works for sectors in the economy, with agriculture at the top of that list.
“I can assure you the UK Government recognises this issue. I intend to keep pressing them on it. For me it is simple. Managing immigration is right: depriving the economy of labour it needs is not.”
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