Magazine
Latest Issue

5am starts, poverty wages and no running water—the grim reality of “picking for Britain”

"When I started there were 30 Brits working in this field; a month later there are just five of us"

By Herbie Russell  

For decades, the UK’s agricultural industry has relied on migrant labour. Each year, an estimated 80,000 workers, primarily from Eastern Europe, come to harvest Britain’s fruit and veg. But this year, due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and ongoing uncertainties regarding Brexit, many would-be fruit pickers have been unable to make the trip. This has left a gaping hole in the agricultural workforce—one which British workers are expected to fill.

On the 19th May, Environment Secretary George Eustice launched the official “Pick for Britain” campaign, encouraging the population to take up…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with our newsletter, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect