A group of MPs visiting farms in Kent have been told that Brexit has resulted in a decline in the number of British products on supermarket shelves and that it is now easier to import some fruits than growing them in the UK.

The group was told that the reason for the lack of produce was due to strict limits on the number of seasonal workers from the EU in the wake of the UK leaving the bloc. In addition, the new Brexit red tape means they must now dispose of surplus fruit rather than sell it to EU markets.

As one farmer in Kent told the group of MPs and industry chiefs, the flow of people coming from Europe to work for the summer has declined every year since Brexit, particularly the last two summers and, as a direct result, his farm is now growing less and importing more.

He is therefore calling on the Government to implement more flexible seasonal work visas, although he is less than optimistic that this will happen, as he believes that Ministers have “inexplicably” decided to “choke” the industry. He added that the Government’s advice to replace lost EU labour with British workers and robots showed how “out of touch” ministers have become.

Meanwhile, in the past month, the UK has introduced the Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill, which will allow crops that have had their genome edited to be treated differently in England from genetically-modified organisms, which can involve foreign DNA from other species. This could mean a reduction in the costs associated with food production.

For more information or advice on related matters, please contact Smailes Goldie today.

Posted in Agriculture, Blog.