Win-win? Job seekers and the recently laid off may be just what British farmers need to help feed the nation
If there’s one thing I admire about people during a crisis is their willingness to ‘do their bit’, whether that’s self-isolating to protect the vulnerable, setting up neighbourhood WhatsApp groups to ensure everyone is looked after or simply buying a normal weekly shop so there’s enough food to go around.
And in Britain, there is a well-established precedent of people showing up when the moment demands, particularly with food production, harvesting and distribution.
During both world wars, people grew their own food and helped get it where it needed to go in order to meet demand and keep the nation fed.
There is a similar call to action is coming from farm industry leaders today.
As an industry, farms rely on around 70,000 seasonal labourers – a fair proportion of which comes from abroad. But with borders all but shut, farms are experiencing a shortage of workers at a crucial time with soft fruit harvest ramping up from next month.
That’s why the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs are partnering with Hops, Fruitful and Concordia to help students, job seekers or anyone who has been laid off find work on UK farms to help with the harvest.
‘At a time when international travel is restricted and people are panic buying due to the Coronavirus, it is crucial that growers can provide enough British produce to our supermarkets and local shops.
We urgently need a UK labour force which can help harvest crops to feed the nation.’Sarah Boparan, Operations Director at Hops
These are incredibly difficult times and people’s lives and livelihoods are being impacted not just in the short term, but in long-term ways we are only just starting to imagine.
But if a scheme like this can put some people back to work and help farmers get their produce to market stalls or supermarkets, it’s certainly worth pursuing.
So if you or someone you know is looking for work in the fresh air and (hopefully) sunshine, you can learn more and apply for a job at the Hops Labour Solutions website.