2nd November | Simon Mowbray back

Finding a Voice for our Brexit Bulldogs

Food and drink industry analyst IGD has launched a Brexit Workout, which challenges members to answer six questions about their businesses to find if they are ready for the fallout of the biggest political and economic event for a generation. To IGD’s list, we would add a seventh – Communicate. So, having a voice on these issues in a public arena – if you believe they could affect your business – is essential if the UK government is to take into consideration the full array of what it needs to achieve in its negotiations with Brussels. Cue our client English Apples & Pears, which yesterday launched its Seasonal Labour Report. The report spells out exactly what a failure to secure continued free movement of temporary EU labour would mean to its industry. Here are some extracts: – Around 10,300 seasonal workers were employed in UK orchard fruit production in 2016, the vast majority from the EU
– Based on current forecasts, another 1,200 per year workers per year will be needed by 2021 to keep pace with growing demand for British orchard fruit
– With those positions unlikely to be filled by UK nationals, the likely consequences of restricted seasonal worker numbers would include: A reduction in the number of UK orchard fruit growing businesses, a reduced area of production, and a subsequent fall in the volume of production A significant reduction in UK self-sufficiency in orchard fruits An increase in the volume of orchard fruit imports into the UK In much greater detail, the report points out the obvious consequences that this would have for a nation that is only 30% self-sufficient in the amount of orchard fruit consumed, including rising prices, reduced tax receipts and environmental considerations. What English Apples & Pears report really does, though, is push the debate into a very public forum. And that is not easy for our Brexit negotiators to ignore.

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