Britain-based workers needed to support UK growers

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A bid to create a UK workforce that will work with growers to address demand during the coronavirus outbreak, could also help those who have found themselves out of work, or struggling financially, during the crisis, it has been claimed.

HOPS, a specialist in supplying seasonal labour to the land-based industry, is trying to build a UK workforce to help farms harvest crops that will feed the nation following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on seasonal labour travelling from abroad.

Travel restrictions and tighter border controls around the world are having a major impact on the number of people willing to travel to the UK during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Potato packing is one of the jobs HOPS is encouraging people to apply for, stating that the paid positions could provide an income for anyone who has been laid off work as a result of the impact of Covid-19, such as those working in hospitality and catering, stressing that strict protection procedures will be in place and they will not be put at risk from the virus.

The organisation is also working with The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) to help gather support from the YFC community and has launched a #YFCRuralSupport campaign to find applicants.

HOPS Operations Director Sarah Boparan said: “We urgently need a UK labour force who can help harvest crops to feed the nation. At a time when international travel is restricted and people are panic buying due to the Coronavirus, it is crucial that growers can provide enough British produce to our supermarkets and local shops.

She added: “We are aware that there are many people facing sustained periods away from their usual employment or studies and HOPS can offer paid positions for those who are willing to work.”

Interested applicants will be asked to complete an online application form after they have reviewed the information about the work involved.

Successful applicants will receive training on the farm and can be assured that all HOPS farms are following the correct procedures around safe working conditions during the coronavirus outbreak.