Brexit has caused severe labor shortages on UK farms and nurseries. These shortages were even accentuated by the COVID pandemic. News of unpicked flowers, tomatoes and empty greenhouses has been rampant. According to a report published last Wednesday (6 April), these effects can be long-lasting, causing permanent damage to UK food production companies and nurseries.
“If not resolved swiftly, they threaten to shrink the sector permanently with a chain reaction of wage rises and price increases reducing competitiveness, leading to food production being exported abroad and increased imports,” said MPs on the UK parliament’s environment, food and rural affairs committee.
In the report recommendations are made to decrease the chain disruptions, such as "The Government must learn the lessons from the way it introduced the temporary short-term visa schemes of autumn 2021, as their late announcement limited the sector’s ability to take advantage of the visas being made available." Also, "the Government needs to make a step change in how it engages with industry, taking seriously the concerns they raise and acting promptly on them—this should help prevent any future intervention being “too little, too late”.