UK pig sector warns of looming labor crisis

The UK's National Pig Association is calling for Government action to avert a labor crisis that could impede pork production.
calendar icon 17 August 2021
clock icon 6 minute read

The NPA, along with other industry bodies has been pressing the Government to take steps to alleviate the shortages, but so far these calls have fallen on deaf ears. “The Government is aware of the severity of the problem but appears unwilling to act,” Dr Davies said.

The NPA is now encouraging its members to write to their MPs asking for "urgent intervention and action to help tackle the unique set of challenges that we face".

MPs will be asked to put pressure on Ministers for support in several areas:

  • Call for processing and pig farm staff who have been double vaccinated to be allowed to take a daily test and avoid self-isolation as long as the test proves negative.
  • Providing businesses access to EU seasonal workers from the EU as allowed in the horticulture, fruit and poultry sectors. A temporary relaxation of visa rules for specific roles to allow more foreign labour into the UK would help.
  • The Home Office to add meat processing workers and butchers to the Shortage Occupation List.
  • A sensible analysis by the Treasury to determine which of the approximately 1.5 million furloughed workers may be suitable for employment in the food sector, and then helping them get back work as soon as possible.
  • A compensation package from Defra for those in the industry most heavily impacted by this on-going crisis, similar to what has already been delivered by other devolved administrations.

“As a sector we do and will always try to find solutions ourselves, but yet again, due to an accumulation of issues, this is out of our control. The entire pig sector is very close to crisis point and we need urgent and clear action from Government to address this crippling labor shortage,” Dr Davies added.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.