Local SNP MP Richard Thomson has written to the Home Office calling for a review of the UK Government’s Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme.
Mr Thomson is backing industry calls for a review of the scheme, which has been in place for two years now. NFU Scotland has written to the UK Minister for Immigration highlighting the difficulties in accessing workers due to issues such as Brexit, the current visa scheme and the pandemic.
Scottish vegetable co-op East of Scotland Growers recently described how labour and haulage issues had already seen four million heads of broccoli and cauliflower wasted.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“I have regular engagement with representatives from the North-east NFUS and I am aware that the NFUS nationally has written to you requesting a review of the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme.
“I share the concerns raised by NFUS, which have also been expressed by food and drink industry representatives in Scotland and the UK.
“The shortage of both permanent and seasonal workers, combined with a lack of haulage drivers and processing staff, is having a seriously detrimental effect across agriculture as well as food and drink businesses.
“The implications of this for businesses and the economy are quite clear and we are already seeing empty supermarket shelves, with the impact of that now being felt by consumers.
I therefore support the call by NFUS for a review of the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme and have written to the Home Office urging the UK Government to accede to their request.”