Fruit pickers from as far away as Barbados were flown in to save Norfolk's strawberry harvest. This year, the fruit industry faced a jobs crisis due to a shortage of its usual eastern European workers; which was prompted by the end of free movement and compounded by the pandemic.
Home Office figures reveal more than 16,000 horticultural laborers were shipped in from 37 countries for the 2021 season as farmers looked further afield to fill the gaps. Most came from Ukraine and Russia, but there were also recruits from countries including Nepal, Kenya, and the Philippines. Barbados also provided more than 100 pickers.