Why won’t Brits pick vegetables for £30 an hour?

7610 super q

Member
Arable Farmer
I think it's time to look beyond the EU and it's borders. Many Asian workers would jump at the chance to earn the numbers that are possible. Time to offer opportunity globally for those who are willing to work on seasonal contracts.

You need £650 - £1100 a month to live comfortably in Vietnam, many get by on £350.00.

Imagine making over two years salary in a season in the UK picking veg, one thing is for sure, they would do it, and not complain and turn up late.

With Government support, someone should get out there and do some PR selling the opportunity, while at the same time building a partner for the long-term.

The Country is a beautiful sxxt hole and badly needs investment.
Isn't this kicking the can down the road again ? A decade of Asian workers, then they fudge off for whatever reason, and back to square one.
Relying on other countries to provide our labour / food / gas is fool hardy IMO.
 

thesilentone

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Cumbria
Isn't this kicking the can down the road again ? A decade of Asian workers, then they fudge off for whatever reason, and back to square one.
Relying on other countries to provide our labour / food / gas is fool hardy IMO.
Well if the article at the start of this is true, what's the alternative, slaves ?
 

tepapa

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Wales
The answer is for boris to take back a few big estates and carve them up into smallholdings of 50-100 acre , build a house and let them to young farmers at cheap rents
They will grow the veg and have families who will work
Why make it the farmers problem to feed the lazy population? Don't worry, it's ok well just use cheap family labour to pick veg so it's dirt cheap for lazy folk to drive to the supermarket and pay pennies for it.
 

le bon paysan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Limousin, France
The EU was a gift to corporate agricultural businesses and the death of local production by small family farms, in the way it subsidised the biggest most, and undercut local labour with free movement of temporary slave labour from abroad. But hey ho, it seems that many want it back.
Q. So why didn't it work that way in France?
A. Because the French government set the rules to keep people on the land. Rules being shaped to ensure 80 Hc farms are viable

The uk pushed for large and efficient business models.
 
Of course despite my 'tongue in cheek' comment earlier about subsidies the system is designed to have you blaming the wrong people. Whilst you are directing your attention at the pay rates of agricultural workers and the fecklessness of those on benefits you are not looking who is currently trousering all the money in the world from right under your noses. Whilst we are squabbling amongst ourselves they are reorganising to clean up even more.

As such I'd highly recommend that you spend an hour watching this video which explains, as simply as possible, what is going on and why we are never going to return to the 'old normal'

 

Jonp

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Gwent
I think it's time to look beyond the EU and it's borders. Many Asian workers would jump at the chance to earn the numbers that are possible. Time to offer opportunity globally for those who are willing to work on seasonal contracts.

You need £650 - £1100 a month to live comfortably in Vietnam, many get by on £350.00.

Imagine making over two years salary in a season in the UK picking veg, one thing is for sure, they would do it, and not complain and turn up late.

With Government support, someone should get out there and do some PR selling the opportunity, while at the same time building a partner for the long-term.

The Country is a beautiful sxxt hole and badly needs investment.
So now instead of labour getting on a ferry and coming here for seasonal work we should instead fly them in from all over the world!🤔
 

Kidds

Member
Horticulture
More than likey but in our case mechanicalization and eventual veg growing profits decline we gave up growing
I think that is the real problem and the question should really be “why would anybody produce crops that don’t give a sensible return”.
We gave up as fruit and veg growers for the same reasons, just couldn’t make any sense of the job.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Q. So why didn't it work that way in France?
A. Because the French government set the rules to keep people on the land. Rules being shaped to ensure 80 Hc farms are viable

The uk pushed for large and efficient business models.
I think they more likely pushed for big estates to keep on trousering £90/acre as these estates belonged to MPs or the ruling elite. It was nothing to do with real efficiency.
And in some ways our benefits system is yet another subsidy on corporate business. Allows them to keep on buying trash that economy depends on but they aren’t burdening employers with expense of training them or offering a decent wage. Import slaves from abroad instead while the benefits subsidy keeps the masses out of the way. It’s a broken system. How you rightle it I’m not sure.
 

7610 super q

Member
Arable Farmer
We found packhouses all seemed to be based in East England. The transport from West Wales Killed it even a decade ago.
Especially if a load got rejected for some spurious reason, and you had to pay the transport back again.....
 

Lowland1

Member
Mixed Farmer
S
Including the ability to pass an English language test set at a doctor level ?
My son's girlfriend works for the organisation doing occupational english tests for doctors. They are being told not to mark the tests too hard as if they do then there won't be many doctors coming through. The Kenya Ministry of Health has signed a deal to send 20,000 nurses to the UK as apparently there is a shortage of 62,000 in the UK.
Bardney Sugar Beet factory used Irish migrant labour well into the 1950's the fights outside the pubs on Saturday nights were well known . In Lincolnshire up until the mechanisation of potato harvesting gangs of Irish labourers would go from farm to farm. Use of migrant labour really is nothing new. How many of the farmers on here complaining about low prices and lazy youth want to have a go picking broccoli for months on end not many I'd reckon.
 

oil barron

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Q. So why didn't it work that way in France?
A. Because the French government set the rules to keep people on the land. Rules being shaped to ensure 80 Hc farms are viable

The uk pushed for large and efficient business models.
Nonsense. Rural Southern France is like a Baltic state in the summer.
67B289B2-F1E4-4A5A-9063-1BE4B4015BE6.jpeg
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
S

My son's girlfriend works for the organisation doing occupational english tests for doctors. They are being told not to mark the tests too hard as if they do then there won't be many doctors coming through. The Kenya Ministry of Health has signed a deal to send 20,000 nurses to the UK as apparently there is a shortage of 62,000 in the UK.
Bardney Sugar Beet factory used Irish migrant labour well into the 1950's the fights outside the pubs on Saturday nights were well known . In Lincolnshire up until the mechanisation of potato harvesting gangs of Irish labourers would go from farm to farm. Use of migrant labour really is nothing new. How many of the farmers on here complaining about low prices and lazy youth want to have a go picking broccoli for months on end not many I'd reckon.
But at one time, ourselves included, every farm with suitable land had a couple of acres of potatoes, carrots or cabbage. You could harvest them yourselves with your family and a few local casuals. Sell them at the local market. You weren’t doing it day in day out, it was part of a mix of balanced work and food miles were as low as they could be. Then it all went corporate, including livestock markets, abattoirs etc. Our last lot of lambs went to Bridlington. Chicken houses have to contain tens of thousands all because folk in charge chased a halfpenny advantage over a competitor.
In my view it’s a kind of madness. That isn’t a criticism of your business model which you’ve undoubtedly worked had and risked a lot to achieve within the framework open to you, but to me there is now a gross imbalance in many things brought about by global corporatism.
And I agree it’s difficult to get brits to do anything manual. It’s a reality we are stuck with but when the alternative is flying in strawberries from Morroco or Spring onions from Egypt it does feel like somebody somewhere must be leaning very hard now on resources and stretching things to limit just for that halfpenny advantage.
Maybe I should set up a local market garden and make it work rather than sit around waiting for the beet factory to sort itself it.
 

farmerm

Member
Location
Shropshire
But at one time, ourselves included, every farm with suitable land had a couple of acres of potatoes, carrots or cabbage. You could harvest them yourselves with your family and a few local casuals. Sell them at the local market. You weren’t doing it day in day out, it was part of a mix of balanced work and food miles were as low as they could be. Then it all went corporate, including livestock markets, abattoirs etc. Our last lot of lambs went to Bridlington. Chicken houses have to contain tens of thousands all because folk in charge chased a halfpenny advantage over a competitor.
In my view it’s a kind of madness. That isn’t a criticism of your business model which you’ve undoubtedly worked had and risked a lot to achieve within the framework open to you, but to me there is now a gross imbalance in many things brought about by global corporatism.
And I agree it’s difficult to get brits to do anything manual. It’s a reality we are stuck with but when the alternative is flying in strawberries from Morroco or Spring onions from Egypt it does feel like somebody somewhere must be leaning very hard now on resources and stretching things to limit just for that halfpenny advantage.
Maybe I should set up a local market garden and make it work rather than sit around waiting for the beet factory to sort itself it.
faffing about with a couple of acres of produce was all well and good when food was 50% of house hold expenditure rather than 5%... the efficiencies of big producers and the easy of global transport of goods from low wage economies has by and large wiped out that business model.
 
Why make it the farmers problem to feed the lazy population? Don't worry, it's ok well just use cheap family labour to pick veg so it's dirt cheap for lazy folk to drive to the supermarket and pay pennies for it.
that sort of ties in with my thoughts about farmers diversifying, basically the advice being given is "you can't make a living producing food, so we would like you to subsidise the food you sell to the population by holiday lets etc, this will allow the population to continue to buy food at below it's cost of production"
 

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