The war in Ukraine is forcing UK growers to look for laborers father away than ever before. To plug the gap in agricultural laborers, countries as far away as Nepal, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are now expected to provide the bulk of the seasonal workers. Some agencies are seeking to redeploy some of their networks in those countries, leading to new hires starting to trickle in on farms.
However, it still might not be enough. Concerns are mounting that Britain will run low on staff, who are crucial to the UK’s food and farming industries, as they may not be able to arrive on time. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee warned last month that labor shortages in the food and farming sector, owing to the Ukraine crisis, were not yet “heading anyone’s agenda, or at the forefront of anyone’s mind” but that it should be.