RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, UK

Labour shortage in farms to possibly hit hospitality food prices, report warns

Purchasing company Lynx says the labour issue is not only due to concerns about Brexit.

Supplies and prices of seasonal fruit and vegetables could take a hit, according to a recent study by Lynx Purchasing.

Their recent market forecast urges hospitality and catering businesses to monitor supplier prices "carefully" as summer goes underway whilst UK farmers are facing shortage of migrant labour.

"Our usual advice is to make the most of fresh, seasonal produce, but this summer that comes with an additional warning due to the labour issue. It's not simply concerns about Brexit, although that's a factor; EU workers now have a wider range of employment options and many have seen wages increase in their own country or can travel somewhere closer to home for seasonal work. Without enough migrant workers, there's a risk that produce is simply left in the fields, Lynx Purchasing managing director Rachel Dobson said.

Lynx also notes that farmers and growers have asked for a commitment from government that they will have access to sufficient numbers of permanent and seasonal workers.

"It's an issue which needs a speedy resolution," Dobson added.

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