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

jellybean

Member
Location
N.Devon
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'

Thanks for putting up that link @Farfrae, an interesting hour but no great surprises for me. Even as a child I had the feeling that the vast majority of humans were being farmed by others and that it was just what happened and there was not much we could do about it but of course there are far more of us than them; we do not have to give our consent. I remain optimistic about our future, many more people realise that huge change is needed and I think the right people must be out there who can help improve our lot.
 

kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
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.
Why bother supporting a business that needs cheap imported slaves to survive when food can be cheaply imported from the rest of the world?
The UK isn't self sufficient now so what would it matter if farmers like @Lowland1 grew more veg for the country?
The UK could concentrate on producing things that didn't require lots of manual labour, which is what the big combinable farms and livestock units do now.
Smaller growers with more modest businesses could carry on growing for farm shops and farmers markets, just leave the supermarket contracts to overseas companies with access to labour.
The majority of the UK veg market is only lining the pockets of a few big farming companies, so let them fall over and start again.
 

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
You have it in a nutshell. I would advise farmers to do no such thing. Not, under any circumstances, let a diversification enterprise subsidise the ungrateful ignorant troglodyte's food bill. Give up the loss making enterprise instead and live a more prosperous and better quality of life rather than work all the hours for something that benefits only others.
What’s your definition of diversification? Our income streams include sheep, beef, veg, holiday let, commercial kitchen and contracting. A number of eggs in a number of baskets allow us to work for ourselves and live where we do without the risk of a single enterprise dictating our success. Are you saying we’re wrong?
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
What’s your definition of diversification? Our income streams include sheep, beef, veg, holiday let, commercial kitchen and contracting. A number of eggs in a number of baskets allow us to work for ourselves and live where we do without the risk of a single enterprise dictating our success. Are you saying we’re wrong?
Any enterprise added to the core due to the core enterprise not financially sustaining the family or actually making a loss. Any enterprise that cannot stand on its own feet should be dumped because it weakens the business overall. It's as easy as that. Working an enterprise for pennies or a loss is a pure mugs game and subsidising the farm income from other sources, be it a wife's wage or a propping-up enterprise such as glamping is plain silly. If it doesn't pay, either do away with it or change it so that it does.

Otherwise, if the diversified enterprise just props up an uneconomic business enterprise, you are just swapping a state subsidy for a home-made subsidy which you have to work for. Consider that you may be better off if you dumped the drain on your resources. It might just be a matter of replacing the beef enterprise with letting the land to someone else and pocketing a rent that is more per acre than the net income that the beef currently provides.
 

glasshouse

Member
Location
lothians
I don't need a solution.

I don't run a veg growing business so I don't need pickers and I wouldn't default on supermarket contract.
Also I don't care if the general public starve, through lack of food on the shelves (especially vegans).
So just criticise others who can think of a solution
 

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
Any enterprise added to the core due to the core enterprise not financially sustaining the family or actually making a loss. Any enterprise that cannot stand on its own feet should be dumped because it weakens the business overall. It's as easy as that. Working an enterprise for pennies or a loss is a pure mugs game and subsidising the farm income from other sources, be it a wife's wage or a propping-up enterprise such as glamping is plain silly. If it doesn't pay, either do away with it or change it so that it does.

Otherwise, if the diversified enterprise just props up an uneconomic business enterprise, you are just swapping a state subsidy for a home-made subsidy which you have to work for. Consider that you may be better off if you dumped the drain on your resources. It might just be a matter of replacing the beef enterprise with letting the land to someone else and pocketing a rent that is more per acre than the net income that the beef currently provides.
Fair enough, we all choose what suits us best. However, last year the veg enterprise was our most profitable, so far this year it’s our worst primarily due to the weather. I’d rather spread my risks and review over a longer period of time. Our first priority has to be paying the rent.
 
Fair enough, we all choose what suits us best. However, last year the veg enterprise was our most profitable, so far this year it’s our worst primarily due to the weather. I’d rather spread my risks and review over a longer period of time. Our first priority has to be paying the rent.

Just shows the difference between farms.

We seem to be having a better year than last, much better yeilds with none of the rabbit & pigeon damage we had last year with lock down.

Caulie a bit of a problem with surges in production causing gluts & swedes have done a bit too well with too many that have grown too fast with lines in them. Sprouts & cabbage done really well, potatoes too.
 

Lincoln75

Member
Frankly I have little sympathy with businesses who have built huge empires on the back of cheap and plentiful labour. Whenever I hear them bleating about not being able to get foreign workers all I hear is

"More slaves please"
Exactly that , I`d shed no tears to see them all go under , then smile when someone decent picked up the pieces , the growers are getting their comeuppance and about time too, saying British wont do it and suggesting they are lazy is utter bollox , the reality is the British wont let employers take the p1ss where as Europeans put up with the BS for a few months as its better than back home , then they go home for a few month break.
 

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
Just shows the difference between farms.

We seem to be having a better year than last, much better yeilds with none of the rabbit & pigeon damage we had last year with lock down.

Caulie a bit of a problem with surges in production causing gluts & swedes have done a bit too well with too many that have grown too fast with lines in them. Sprouts & cabbage done really well, potatoes too.
It was too hot here in the early part of the season. Fly infestation of beans followed by early savoys, calabrese and romanesco going to flower too early. The second half of the season is looking much better at the moment, thankfully.
 
It was too hot here in the early part of the season. Fly infestation of beans followed by early savoys, calabrese and romanesco going to flower too early. The second half of the season is looking much better at the moment, thankfully.

I don't start till late July.

It is an issue for me that plant raisers can be a bit arrogrant & put batches of caulie together, ie I odered 2 vairities of caulie for planting 20/o6/21 & 01/07/21. They all turned up on 01/07/21 already too big & just one vareity. So I was left buying expensive caulie at the top of the market & a week later had a glut. Propgator blamed brexit & Corvid, I accept they are having a tougth time.
 

CHAP Webinar - Innovative tools to overcome the challenges of Regen Ag

  • 256
  • 0
https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.evbuc.com%2Fimages%2F186160299%2F486662465563%2F1%2Foriginal.20211115-160823


Applying principles of regen ag can incur a range of on-farm challenges. Learn how innovative tools & machinery can help with these hurdles.

This event will be held online from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday 2nd December 2021 so please block it out in your diary.

About this event​

Intro
This...
Top