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UK vegetable producer says labor shortage leads to food wastage

One of the UK’s biggest vegetable producers says it is losing thousands of pounds a week, having to throw away food due to a labor shortage. It concerns Alfred G Pearce, based near King’s Lynn, Norfolk, where the labour force is 20% to 30% down on previous years. According to business development manager Jack Pearce, the pandemic and Brexit are to blame.

The Home Office said employers should “invest in the domestic work force” rather than labor from abroad. A second company, Freshlands Farm, based in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, said it had lost tens of thousands of pumpkins as it had not been able to hire any workers to clear weeds from the fields.

The company, which is based across three sites and grows 60,000 tonnes of carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, onions, and butternut squash per year, works with major food distributors and supermarkets across the country.


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