The United Kingdom will need Britons to help pick the summer harvest because the novel coronavirus has prevented the arrival of many of the seasonal workers that usually travel from Eastern Europe, the country’s Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, said on Tuesday.
“Probably only about a third of the people that would come are already here,” Eustice said, conceding that small numbers would continue to travel. “This year we will need to rely on British workers to lend a hand to help bring that harvest home.”
The British government had been working with the industry to try to pair up people looking for a second job, particularly those who had been placed on furlough, with businesses looking for workers, and announced the launch of a new “Pick for Britain” website, Eustice said.
“We believe that those who are furloughed may be getting to the point where they’d want to lend a hand and play their part, they may be wanting to get out, they may be wanting to supplement their income with an additional job,” he said.