Written evidence submitted by staples vegetables (LS0013)
To whom it may concern,
Staples grow approx. 30% of Uk green vegetables, we employ 1300 people and have combined turnover across our group of £170,000,000. We are one of the largest employees in Lincolnshire and indirectly support a large number of other businesses.
The seasonal worker scheme is essential for the production of green vegetables in the UK. There are no automated solutions in existence that can harvest these types of vegetables.
These jobs involve hard manual activity in sometimes cold, wet and muddy conditions, 24 hours a day and are seasonal in nature.
The scheme could be improved substantially if the break between permits was reduced to 3, rather than 6 months (as it used to be) and, or, the permit was extended to 9 months. This would allow trained workers to return more easily and complete a whole harvest season. Encouraging returnees for a number of seasons increases skill and training levels and would be a great benefit.