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Labour in the food supply chain

Inquiry

There is a high demand for non-UK workers in agriculture and in the wider food supply chain. Veterinarians, who provide certification for the import and export of animals to third countries and provide official controls at food exporting premises, abattoirs and border inspection posts, are currently on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

In February 2020, the Government published a policy statement on a points based immigration system, to take effect from 1 January 2021. The statement was clear that the Government would “not implement a route for lower-skilled workers”, because “we need to shift the focus of our economy away from a reliance on cheap labour from Europe and instead concentrate on investment in technology and automation”.

In 2017, the EFRA Committee conducted an inquiry on Feeding the nation: labour constraints, focusing on agriculture and horticulture, and took further evidence in 2018. In 2018, the UK Government announced a two-year Seasonal Workers pilot scheme to allow 2,500 non-EU nationals to come to the UK for 6 months each year to provide seasonal, agricultural support for fruit and vegetable farms. In February 2020, the Government confirmed the expansion of the pilot to allow farmers to hire up to 10,000 workers in 2020.

Read the call for evidence for more information about this inquiry.

Reports, special reports and government responses

View all reports and responses
Third Report - The UK’s new immigration policy and the food supply chain
Inquiry Labour in the food supply chain
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
HC 231
Report
Response to this report
First Special Report: The UK’s new immigration policy and the food supply chain: Government Response to the Committee’s Third Report of Session 2019–21
HC 30
Special Report
First Special Report: The UK’s new immigration policy and the food supply chain: Government Response to the Committee’s Third Report of Session 2019–21
Inquiry Labour in the food supply chain
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
HC 30
Special Report

Oral evidence transcripts

View all oral evidence transcripts
17 November 2020
Inquiry Labour in the food supply chain
Witnesses Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Home Office, Defra, and Home Office
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Oral Evidence
15 September 2020
Inquiry Labour in the food supply chain
Witnesses Food and Drink Federation, British Veterinary Association (BVA), and British Poultry Council
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Oral Evidence
7 July 2020
Inquiry Labour in the food supply chain
Witnesses National Farmers Union (NFU), and Association of Labour Providers
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Oral Evidence
LFS0055 - Labour in the food supply chain
Witnesses Department for Education
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Written Evidence
LFS0054 - Labour in the food supply chain
Witnesses HOPS Labour Solutions
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Written Evidence
LFS0045 - Labour in the food supply chain
Witnesses Fentongollan Farms
Committees Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Written Evidence

Contact us

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  • Email: efracom@parliament.uk
  • Phone: (General Enquiries) 020 7219 1119 / (Media Enquiries) 020 7219 3279
  • Address: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA