/ Leave voting fruit farmer faces ruin if EU migration ends...

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Timmd on 12 Jul 2017
wercat on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Timmd:
I find it hard to sympathise when he is one of those who have pushed us into this almighty mess


Although nothing would delight me more than a national realisation of our folly that saves all of us, including people like this, from this monumental idiocy
Post edited at 13:15
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Timmd on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wercat:
I thought it'd just share it as a window into what's happening in the country. However they voted, looking into farming and Brexit shows similar concerns being shared by other farmers.

Post edited at 13:18
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lummox - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Timmd:
F*cktardus giganitcus- Mr. Hall, that is
Post edited at 13:22
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wbo - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> I thought it'd just share it as a window into what's happening in the country. eh?

Personally I think it's quite funny though I doubt he does. I certainly find it hard to rouse much sympathy.
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rj_townsend on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Timmd:
It's hard to imagine how such a cretin managed to run a business in the first place - he clearly doesn't have even the tiniest understanding of how his own company operates and the dynamics of the market they are in.

Is there a corporate version of the Darwin Awards?
Post edited at 13:24
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Moley on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Timmd:

Hard to understand how a large businesses owner did not equate his leave vote with potential restrictions on EU workers to the UK. Especially when his own business is 100% reliant on those EU workers.
Dull as a hedge.
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wintertree - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Timmd:

An altenative reading of the article says that we are going to end up paying 35% to 50% more for a non staple/luxury fruit, and in doing so will create 4000 seasonal jobs for our citezens with this one company alone.

I am still hoping that we end up staying in the EU, but I would also be happy to see people pay a sustainable price for the food they buy.
Post edited at 13:31
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andyfallsoff - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

Is there any evidence that UK citizens want, or are willing, to do these seasonal jobs, though?

My understanding is that the reason this sector has become reliant on migrants is that they aren't.
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Wanderer100 - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> An altenative reading of the article says that we are going to end up paying 35% to 50% more for a non staple/luxury fruit, and in doing so will create 4000 seasonal jobs for our citezens with this one company alone.

> I am still hoping that we end up staying in the EU, but I would also be happy to see people pay a sustainable price for the food they buy.

When I was still at school me and my siblings and friends used to pick fruit during the Summer holidays. The work was hard and the pay wadnt great but we literally queued up for the privilege. This 'country' needs to get off it's self entitled and over protective backside and allow under 16s to do a days paid work. That would get plenty of fruit picked in the summer months.
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Lusk - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

> Is there any evidence that UK citizens want, or are willing, to do these seasonal jobs, though?

> My understanding is that the reason this sector has become reliant on migrants is that they aren't.

Maybe it's something to do with the fact that the pay is shit?
tony on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Lusk:

> Maybe it's something to do with the fact that the pay is shit?

What's the difference between migrant workers being paid shit and British workers being paid shit?
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andyfallsoff - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Lusk:

Agree that might be a part of it, but I thought it was possible to earn a reasonable amount of money (more than checkout pay). I think other factors are that it's hard, physical work, and it's seasonal. The workers need to be in the right place, at the right time, so it only suits people who are willing to move to be near the farms at the times of harvest, and then willing to do the very early starts etc / generally anti-social hours.

Paying sufficient money might make people willing to overlook these issues, but given cost competition from overseas, I can imagine that what will actually happen in lots of cases is that the UK farms will go out of business and we'll rely on more air-freighted fruit and veg, the same way we do during off-seasons.

All speculation, though, we will have to see.

Timmd on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to tony:
> What's the difference between migrant workers being paid shit and British workers being paid shit?

I gather that it's easier to earn shit over here than where the migrant workers come from, and it's worth more when they go back than it is here in the UK.

That may have changed a little bit since the pound became weaker...
Post edited at 14:01
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Jim Hamilton - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to rj_townsend:

> - he clearly doesn't have even the tiniest understanding of how his own company operates and the dynamics of the market they are in.

he clearly does, but presumably sounding off about the Tories following their woeful election result.

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tony on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> I gather that it's easier to earn shit over here than where the migrant workers come from, and it's worth more when they go back than it is here in the UK.

That explains why migrant workers come here. It doesn't explain why British workers don't even apply for the jobs in the first place - lots of British workers are on minimum wages, so it's not as if this kind of work is any worse than other minimum wage work in that respect. The impact of the loss of seasonal workers has been recognised for ages. Quite why it comes as a surprise to the idiot quoted in the story you linked to is beyond me.

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Timmd on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to rj_townsend:
> It's hard to imagine how such a cretin managed to run a business in the first place - he clearly doesn't have even the tiniest understanding of how his own company operates and the dynamics of the market they are in.

> Is there a corporate version of the Darwin Awards?

After Brexit was voted for, I did start to have growing empathy with the argument of sovereignty, and leading up to the Referendum I pondered it, and thought things economically weren't solid enough to risk the fall out - I figured we could possibly have another Referendum in another decade or so and leave then (depending on any changes in the UK's relationship with the EU), that staying in was safer for now. Remaining appealed to me for other reasons too.

It is very important to know the dynamics of the market, I agree.
Post edited at 14:21
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summo on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Lusk:

> Maybe it's something to do with the fact that the pay is shit?

That and the fact that Europe is totally reliant on 40% of the eu budget going on farming subsidies, too offset the low price we pay in the shops for our food.
summo on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to tony:

> What's the difference between migrant workers being paid shit and British workers being paid shit?

A crap UK wage is quite good in relative terms when you take the money home to eastern Europe.
Timmd on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to tony:
> That explains why migrant workers come here. It doesn't explain why British workers don't even apply for the jobs in the first place - lots of British workers are on minimum wages, so it's not as if this kind of work is any worse than other minimum wage work in that respect. The impact of the loss of seasonal workers has been recognised for ages. Quite why it comes as a surprise to the idiot quoted in the story you linked to is beyond me.

I think the seasonal nature puts people off, too. If you've regular bills to pay, you don't want to leave a minimum wage job that's seemingly secure for seasonal work. It's different if you're coming over and potentially having accommodation provided as well, you're coming into a situation where you're getting work that's hard to find back home, and know that you can work your behind off and go back with a decent sum of money, or money which will go relatively far/further. IIRC a pub I went to with friends near Skipton which provided rooms for guests, also provided accommodation for some of their staff too, which had a Polish and an Australian person working there when we went. I dare say they may have had different reasons for working in a pub/hotel type place in the UK.
Post edited at 14:20
Phil79 - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to summo:

> That and the fact that Europe is totally reliant on 40% of the eu budget going on farming subsidies, too offset the low price we pay in the shops for our food.

That's a very good point.

So, after 2019 when we will no longer be paying into EU, we could 'reasonably' expect food prices to rise, assuming there will be additional costs/tariffs associated with importation of food from the EU (which I guess the EU would reasonably expect there to be, and as they have repeatedly made clear "you cant have all the benefits and none of the costs").
Timmd on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:
> An altenative reading of the article says that we are going to end up paying 35% to 50% more for a non staple/luxury fruit, and in doing so will create 4000 seasonal jobs for our citezens with this one company alone.

That could depend on fruit not being flown in by supermarkets, making it impossible for him to compete and survive?

> I am still hoping that we end up staying in the EU, but I would also be happy to see people pay a sustainable price for the food they buy.

In principle I'd be happy to pay a sustainable price too. In practice, it may depend on what food goes up in price, and by how much. I don't have quite as much money as I'd like.
Post edited at 14:32
Mr Lopez - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

> When I was still at school me and my siblings and friends used to pick fruit during the Summer holidays. The work was hard and the pay wadnt great but we literally queued up for the privilege. This 'country' needs to get off it's self entitled and over protective backside and allow under 16s to do a days paid work. That would get plenty of fruit picked in the summer months.


Excellent idea.. Removing the laws in place that protect children from exploitation and put them to work in the farms sounds like a price worth paying for the benefit of the older generation not having to hear people talking in Polish while in the pub. And if the new empire doesn't work out as planned we can also give one up to the ungrateful Asians and set up a bunch of sweatshops around the country managed by G4S or ATOS and go all the hog back to the glorious times of Dickens and co.
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simon c on 12 Jul 2017
timjones - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Mr Lopez:

We're not talking about widespread year round exploitation.

Earning some money by picking fruit in the summer holidays was regarded as a "perk" when I was in my teens.

Why do you have a problem with it?
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andyfallsoff - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Phil79:

> So, after 2019 when we will no longer be paying into EU, we could 'reasonably' expect food prices to rise, assuming there will be additional costs/tariffs associated with importation of food from the EU (which I guess the EU would reasonably expect there to be, and as they have repeatedly made clear "you cant have all the benefits and none of the costs").

Not forgetting that the large proportion of retired people who voted for Brexit will be insulated from any such price increases because pensions are linked to RPI. The cost will fall on the working age population as a double whammy - higher inflation, plus taxes to fund those RPI linked pensions...
andyfallsoff - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

There is probably a reason why we introduced child labour laws though, isn't there?

To the extent that the existing laws permit work, then under 16s can still do some work. They probably can't do the long hours and early starts that are required in the industry at present, and I would question whether this workforce that is available only during holidays can support an industry that operates at other times of the year as well.
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summo on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Mr Lopez:
> Excellent idea.. Removing the laws in place that protect children from exploitation and put them to work in the farms sounds like a price worth paying for the benefit of the older generation not having to hear people talking in Polish while in the pub. And if the new empire doesn't work out as planned we can also give one up to the ungrateful Asians and set up a bunch of sweatshops around the country managed by G4S or ATOS and go all the hog back to the glorious times of Dickens and co.

Hardly, it's a good summer job for students to earn some cash and lower the loans they take out to fund their student lifestyle.

As a kid and teen, I did dairy work and hay work in the summer, tatties in the autumn. When a little older I graduated to doing more of heavy lifting and tractor or machine work on these jobs. Apart from learning to graft, you learn to communicate, work as team and all in the fresh air. Has to beat flipping burgers for a part time job.

Funny how you have no issue with asking a pole, or Romanian to do this job just so you can buy veg at low prices etc..
Post edited at 15:08
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summo on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

Pre eu days, there was a seasonal migrant workers scheme. So I don't really see this Labour problem. If the pay is right then it's still cost effective for eastern Europeans to come, most of the extra work will be admin time for farmers adapting to a new admin system.
wintertree - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> That could depend on fruit not being flown in by supermarkets, making it impossible for him to compete and survive?

Yes, that would be the alternative to importing labour or paying more to attract local labour.

A genuine question - which costs more fossil fuel emissions, importing and exporting a labourer or importing the equivalent quantity of picked fruit? Very loosely speaking, does someone pick more than 2x their weight in fruit in a season?

I would think if we ended up importing instead of paying a sustainable local wage that this would be a shame, although that's what happened to most things that weren't farming over the last few decades.

I think farming has an unusual status in UK industry and one that puts it at great risk of change from leaving the EU. I also think of all industry, farming is one that deserves more protectionism to ensure a viable local supply of staple food for the national interest.
Post edited at 15:11
Offwidth - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

What on earth were you doing to regard such as a perk? I helped out occasionally in farms when folk were in a bit of trouble or when harvest was rushed. The later often involved shifing hay or straw bales which was bloody hard work and nothing like worth the money we were paid. We also picked fruit for free in Somerset so we could afford a decent family holiday for a week (with free accommodation and some cider thrown in). We did it as we couldn't afford anything better, or to help people in trouble, never as a perk.
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andyfallsoff - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to summo:
> Hardly, it's a good summer job for students to earn some cash and lower the loans they take out to fund their student lifestyle.

> As a kid and teen, I did dairy work and hay work in the summer, tatties in the autumn. When a little older I graduated to doing more of heavy lifting and tractor or machine work on these jobs. Apart from learning to graft, you learn to communicate, work as team and all in the fresh air. Has to beat flipping burgers for a part time job.

> Funny how you have no issue with asking a pole, or Romanian to do this job just so you can buy veg at low prices etc..

I don't disagree with this, but there is nothing to stop students doing these jobs at the moment - they just don't want to.

Add to that the fact that more and more students have less free time for work as they are doing things to boost their employability or to study harder, given the increasingly competitive nature of the jobs market and cost of uni education. I graduated 7 years ago and even while I was studying, people were looking to either do things that would boost their CV (not that I think seasonal work would look bad, but still) or, quite reasonably, they were having a break and where possible travelling, because studying has become more stressful.

As for the EU seasonal workers scheme - let's see what is introduced. The impression I have so far is that every sector which uses migrant workers is up in arms asking for an exemption from new, tighter rules on immigration. Given that "reducing immigration" is repeatedly cited as a reason to leave, it will be infuriating to give up our rights to live and work in other countries only to end up with the same immigration we have at present; or if we do tighten up, some industries will inevitably suffer. You can't have it both ways.
Post edited at 15:15
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tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> An altenative reading of the article says that we are going to end up paying 35% to 50% more for a non staple/luxury fruit, and in doing so will create 4000 seasonal jobs for our citezens with this one company alone.

> I am still hoping that we end up staying in the EU, but I would also be happy to see people pay a sustainable price for the food they buy.

Until David Davis starts signing free trade agreements with the US, Australia et al. Once that happens there will be no tariffs protecting our farmers, far less rules about how food is produced and we'll be buying our fruit from whoever makes it cheapest. Quite likely UK farmers with money will buy land in Africa.
wbo - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones: because in this case it's a pretty stupid idea? This bloke has 4000 Europeans working for him, who, in my experience work like bonkers dawn till dusk. How many typical kids will he need to replace that - let's be generous,, 8000? He'll be shipping in half the county.

Wintertree - upgrading pay, costs by 30% - creating 4000 jobs - do you think there's a Brexit magic money tree? They'll buy less, and the market shrinks. How's unemployment in the UK by the way? Your problem isn't lack of jobs, it's stagnation

bouldery bits - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> An altenative reading of the article says that we are going to end up paying 35% to 50% more for a non staple/luxury fruit, and in doing so will create 4000 seasonal jobs for our citezens with this one company alone.

What will these 4,000 workers do the rest of the year?

wintertree - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wbo:

> Wintertree - upgrading pay, costs by 30% - creating 4000 jobs - do you think there's a Brexit magic money tree? They'll buy less, and the market shrinks. How's unemployment in the UK by the way? Your problem isn't lack of jobs, it's stagnation

Don't ask me, ask the farmer. I was giving the OP my interpretation of the article, which is that the farmer reckons that is the cost increase associated with not using imported labour, by which I assume he implies this is what he thinks it will cost to hire the equivalent ammount of UK labour for the season.

> They'll buy less, and the market shrinks

I wouldn't shed a tear if a market driven by unsustainable business practice shrinks when we move to paying a fair wage. So skinflints buy less strawberries and the few big business built around cheap imported seasonal labour go bust, and the land goes to growing staple crops. I'm not seeing much of a downside here to be honest.
Post edited at 15:35
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wintertree - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> What will these 4,000 workers do the rest of the year?

What do the 4,000 imported workers do for the rest of the year?

Ramblin dave - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

Well yes, but from the phrase "facing ruin" I'm assuming that he doesn't think that the market will support the price rises needed to sustain the increased costs and hence employ all those people.
Mr Lopez - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

> We're not talking about widespread year round exploitation.

> Earning some money by picking fruit in the summer holidays was regarded as a "perk" when I was in my teens.

> Why do you have a problem with it?

I was just being melodramatic, still, the point still stands that the 'proposal' is to remove the laws that are in place to protect children from exploitation so that we can use them to replace foreign labour that we are closing the door to on the back of a mildly xenophobic ideology.

"-Uh, i say, if we don't get foreign migrants who is going to do the work?

-I have an idea! The adults will not want to be breaking their backs 12 hours a day 7 days a week for a pitiful wage, so lets make children do the work instead!

-Woah, yes, great idea. But there's a problem though. The law says that minors are not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week.

-Well, lets just repeal those laws!

-Oh my. Gideon, you are a genius. Care for another cup of Pimms?

-Certainly. Pass the mint please gentleman?"
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timjones - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

> What on earth were you doing to regard such as a perk?

Earning my own money and being paid for the fruit that I picked at the same rate as the adults that were doing the same job.

> I helped out occasionally in farms when folk were in a bit of trouble or when harvest was rushed. The later often involved shifing hay or straw bales which was bloody hard work and nothing like worth the money we were paid. We also picked fruit for free in Somerset so we could afford a decent family holiday for a week (with free accommodation and some cider thrown in). We did it as we couldn't afford anything better, or to help people in trouble, never as a perk.

Fair enough if you didn't value the income and ability to earn and spend your own money.

I did and I had plenty of friens that thought the same way.

It enabled me to save up to buy things like one of the first digital watches and my first SLR camera.

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Tyler - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to summo:

> That and the fact that Europe is totally reliant on 40% of the eu budget going on farming subsidies, too offset the low price we pay in the shops for our food.

Are fruit farms in the SE of England subsidised?
timjones - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wbo:

> because in this case it's a pretty stupid idea? This bloke has 4000 Europeans working for him, who, in my experience work like bonkers dawn till dusk. How many typical kids will he need to replace that - let's be generous,, 8000? He'll be shipping in half the county.

> Wintertree - upgrading pay, costs by 30% - creating 4000 jobs - do you think there's a Brexit magic money tree? They'll buy less, and the market shrinks. How's unemployment in the UK by the way? Your problem isn't lack of jobs, it's stagnation

I don't think anyone suggested that you could fill the void with kids?

I was replying to someones overly dramatic suggestion that there was a plan to bring back child labour.
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summo on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

Don't think many students today could not cope with the work! They'd rather graduate with more debt then get their hands dirty (unless of course it's festival mud).
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timjones - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Mr Lopez:

> I was just being melodramatic, still, the point still stands that the 'proposal' is to remove the laws that are in place to protect children from exploitation so that we can use them to replace foreign labour that we are closing the door to on the back of a mildly xenophobic ideology.

> "-Uh, i say, if we don't get foreign migrants who is going to do the work?

> -I have an idea! The adults will not want to be breaking their backs 12 hours a day 7 days a week for a pitiful wage, so lets make children do the work instead!

> -Woah, yes, great idea. But there's a problem though. The law says that minors are not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week.

> -Well, lets just repeal those laws!

> -Oh my. Gideon, you are a genius. Care for another cup of Pimms?

> -Certainly. Pass the mint please gentleman?"

Where the hell have you got the idea that this "proposal" exists?

I've attended a significant number of meetings looking at the trade and labour implications of Brexit for agriculture and you are the only person that I have ever heard mention child labour as a potential solution!
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Mr Lopez - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

> Where the hell have you got the idea that this "proposal" exists?

It was 'proposed' by the poster i replied to...

This 'country' needs to get off it's self entitled and over protective backside and allow under 16s to do a days paid work. That would get plenty of fruit picked in the summer months.
Post edited at 15:55
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bouldery bits - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> What do the 4,000 imported workers do for the rest of the year?

Pop home?
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bouldery bits - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Tyler:

> Are fruit farms in the SE of England subsidised?

Yeah.
Agricultural land ownership is subsidised by the EU.
Ridge - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

> Is there any evidence that UK citizens want, or are willing, to do these seasonal jobs, though?

> My understanding is that the reason this sector has become reliant on migrants is that they aren't.

That's the common myth. Alternatively the price of fruit is held artificially low, and therefore fruit pickers need to be paid an unrealistically low wage for the farmer to make a profit.

It's a bit like saying Brits are too lazy to work in garment manufacture because they won't work 20 hour days in a sweatshop for 50p a day.
timjones - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Mr Lopez:

> It was 'proposed' by the poster i replied to...

> This 'country' needs to get off it's self entitled and over protective backside and allow under 16s to do a days paid work. That would get plenty of fruit picked in the summer months.

And what did the rest of that post go on to say?

Like wanderer100 I used to earn my own money in the summer holidays by picking fruit.

It wasn't the exploitation that you have gone off on one about, we picked alongsie the adults and earned exactly the same money.

It allowed me to buy things that I would otherwise not have had such as my first ecent camera.
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andyfallsoff - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to summo:

Maybe, but it might also be that as the ultimate jobs people look to become less physical, the part time work they consider (which they will probably use on the CV as a demonstration of ability, skills etc) follows the same pattern.

Exceptions will be made for things that are fun!

To be fair, I don't blame them. I've done manual work (warehouse cleaning, kitchen portering, etc.) and the monotony can be crushing. I imagine fruit picking would fall into the same category.
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timjones - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Ridge:

> That's the common myth. Alternatively the price of fruit is held artificially low, and therefore fruit pickers need to be paid an unrealistically low wage for the farmer to make a profit.

> It's a bit like saying Brits are too lazy to work in garment manufacture because they won't work 20 hour days in a sweatshop for 50p a day.

Having worked on fruit, hop and potato farms I can assure that it is no myth.

The reason that migrant labour is so popular is because they work harder and are far more reliable.
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andyfallsoff - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Ridge:

As I say above - I appreciate that almost any job becomes more viable if pay is high enough.

I think this is a particularly difficult industry, though - starting at the crack of dawn, intensely physical but also monotonous, and seasonal so many workers move throughout the year to follow the work. So the increase in wages to attract people would have to be particularly high.
Moley on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

I spent most summer holidays fruit picking with a few friends, loved it. Hard work but always plenty of girls picking, trips to the pub afterwards, it never rained (possible memory lapse), banter, great times and always pleased to be taken on. All piece work so we worked hard for our cash and if I was young again, I would take that work every time in preference to supermarket or bar work.

But that was then and this is now, not convinced today's youngsters would do it.
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Offwidth - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

I was a kid helping out and preferred easier ways to earn pocket money. I got a proper engineering job as soon as I could after school.
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summo on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Tyler:

> Are fruit farms in the SE of England subsidised?

Of course.
https://www.google.se/search?client=ms-android-samsung&site=webhp&ei=4TxmWfSjKIPD6QS59LLQBQ&...

Fruit, veg, meat, diary.. all come under CAP.
wintertree - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> Pop home?

And what do they do when they're there? Why can't UK workers do the same? You're not helping your argument here...
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Ramblin dave - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> And what do they do when they're there?

Take advantage of the fact that their cost of living is significantly lower there than it is in the UK so they can actually do fairly well for a while on the money that they've earned in a month or two of picking?

For UK workers to do the same they'd have to be paid significantly more, which would make this bloke's business unsustainable, which is where we came in.
Toerag - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> Pop home?

...and live like kings. We have plenty of Latvian migrant workers working in shops, hospitality and greenhouses. They earn up to 6 times what they can get back home, and I know of one local chap who's married a Latvian girl. They do minimum wage work in a greenhouse for 6 months then go and live like kings in Latvia for the other 6. It's fairly common to meet people on minimum wage jobs with degrees. They do it for the money and to learn English (although the latter doesn't work out too well when all the other staff in the hotel are foreign).
wintertree - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> For UK workers to do the same they'd have to be paid significantly more, which would make this bloke's business unsustainable, which is where we came in.

All of which I have clearly recognised in my posts. Which is more than bouldery bits has done in their replies to me...

I have yet to see a compelling - or even a weak - argument presented on here about why having an unsustainable business making heavy use of imported labour close and be replaced with a sustainable one is a Bad Thing?
Post edited at 16:58
Lusk - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Toerag:

That sounds like quite a good lifestyle, I'm slightly envious!
krikoman - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> What will these 4,000 workers do the rest of the year?

Probably argue with the Social about getting their benefits back. It seems if you take employment, getting you previous benefits back can be a real struggle.
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krikoman - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:
> All of which I have clearly recognised in my posts. Which is more than bouldery bits has done in their replies to me...

> I have yet to see a compelling - or even a weak - argument presented on here about why having an unsustainable business making heavy use of imported labour close and be replaced with a sustainable one is a Bad Thing?

I think it's to do with you increase in costs, it might be OK for you (and me ) but there are a lot of people, "just about managing" who might really struggle, with a 35% -50% price increase (your figures but I'm presuming it's a guess anyhow).

Of course TM is going to help these JAMs but I'm not sure she'll be enforcing cheap fruit and veg.
Post edited at 17:11
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Ramblin dave - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> I have yet to see a compelling - or even a weak - argument presented on here about why having an unsustainable business making heavy use of imported labour close and be replaced with a sustainable one is a Bad Thing?

It wasn't an unsustainable business until now.
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Tyler - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:
> I have yet to see a compelling - or even a weak - argument presented on here about why having an unsustainable business making heavy use of imported labour close and be replaced with a sustainable one is a Bad Thing?

I agree up to point. I think it's not clear whether it will be replaced by a sustainable business in this country paying higher wages or a sustainable one in another country paying lower wages. If it were the former then the cost of these harvests would go up, again, something I'm not necessarily against but I border for that to happen we'd need to impose tariffs which rather goes against the Brexiters' aspiration.....
Post edited at 17:25
Tyler - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits and summo:

> Yeah.

> Agricultural land ownership is subsidised by the EU

Wow, I didn't realise it applied to all agricultural land.
captain paranoia - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> And what do they do when they're there? Why can't UK workers do the same? You're not helping your argument here...

Differential cost of living.

They come here, work a season, earning what you think is a pittance, but to them is a lot of money.

They go home with their earnings, and those earnings will fund them for much longer than similar earnings would if they stayed in the UK.

Production moves because the cost of production is lower. Cost of production is down to labour costs (and fixed material costs, regardless of production method). If you can get the cost per man hour down, or reduce the number of man hours required, then the labour cost falls.

So, during the industrial revolution, the advent of automated cotton spinning and weaving in the UK caused devastation to the Indian hand spinning and weaving industry; despite the lower cost of living in India, the reduction in the number of man hours meant it was still cheaper to produce in the UK. Roll on a hundred years, and the mills moved India/Far East, where the cost of living was lower. And the UK spinning and weaving industry was devastated.
wintertree - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> It wasn't an unsustainable business until now.

Sure it was. It was predicated on a neighbouring country being far poorer than us. That's not sustainable.
Tyler - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:
> Sure it was. It was predicated on a neighbouring country being far poorer than us. That's not sustainable.

By that token most business in poorer countries, such as China, are unsustainable as most of them are predicated on having lower wages than elsewhere. Obviously in the long run that will probably change but there's a long way to go.
Post edited at 18:23
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Dax H - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

> Earning my own money and being paid for the fruit that I picked at the same rate as the adults that were doing the same job.

> Fair enough if you didn't value the income and ability to earn and spend your own money.

> I did and I had plenty of friens that thought the same way.

> It enabled me to save up to buy things like one of the first digital watches and my first SLR camera.

This was me too. At 14 I was working every weekend and every holiday. I was earning more as a kid than I was at 16 when I started my YTS.
I was gutted when I dropped from a Labours rate of £50 a day to £45 per week as an official apprentice.
Si dH - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to tony:
> That explains why migrant workers come here. It doesn't explain why British workers don't even apply for the jobs in the first place - lots of British workers are on minimum wages, so it's not as if this kind of work is any worse than other minimum wage work in that respect. The impact of the loss of seasonal workers has been recognised for ages. Quite why it comes as a surprise to the idiot quoted in the story you linked to is beyond me.


I did two days as a fruit picker in my teens (about year 2000).

The pay worked out about £2/hr for what I managed to pick - I didn't know anyone else there so there was no time wasting or chatting, I was at it hard all day - and I gave myself a bad back and a bunch of scratches into the bargain. It was an absolutely terrible job and when I got a job at burger king on the then minimum wage very soon after (~ £3.20 I think), it felt like heaven.

I don't know if the Industry has changed since then, but given the influx of migrant workers since 2000 I'd be fairly surprised - in which case, we should all pay more for our fruit. And if we don't, maybe we should just let the industry die and accept that we aren't very good at it. That'd be much better than the status quo that I knew.

Of course I may have just been unlucky.
Post edited at 18:34
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RomTheBear on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> Sure it was. It was predicated on a neighbouring country being far poorer than us. That's not sustainable.

Don't think that's really true, many other jobs that are as hard and as badly paid are being done mostly by Brits.
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timjones - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Si dH:

> I did two days as a fruit picker in my teens (about year 2000).

> The pay worked out about £2/hr for what I managed to pick - I didn't know anyone else there so there was no time wasting or chatting, I was at it hard all day - and I gave myself a bad back and a bunch of scratches into the bargain. It was an absolutely terrible job and when I got a job at burger king on the then minimum wage very soon after (~ £3.20 I think), it felt like heaven.

> I don't know if the Industry has changed since then, but given the influx of migrant workers since 2000 I'd be fairly surprised - in which case, we should all pay more for our fruit. And if we don't, maybe we should just let the industry die and accept that we aren't very good at it. That'd be much better than the status quo that I knew.

> Of course I may have just been unlucky.

The key is that those who take the time to get good at the Job can earn significantly more than minimum wage.
1
wintertree - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to krikoman:

> I think it's to do with you increase in costs

Obviously

>, it might be OK for you (and me ) but there are a lot of people, "just about managing" who might really struggle, with a 35% -50% price increase

Given that they're a luxury item it's not the end of the world if some people buy strawberries fewer times a year. Although if we can work towards more well paid jobs in the UK by decreasing use of cheaper imported labour then the problem might just resolve itself.

> (your figures but I'm presuming it's a guess anyhow).

They aren't my figures, as would be obvious if you'd read the OPs link and/or my previous posts in this thread of the conversation.
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DancingOnRock - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Tyler:
> By that token most business in poorer countries, such as China, are unsustainable as most of them are predicated on having lower wages than elsewhere. Obviously in the long run that will probably change but there's a long way to go.

I don't think there is a long way to go.

When Poland entered the EU there was a sudden supply of cheap labour. It's dried up now as the money was sent home and spent on their infrastructure and they're now no longer the poor neighbour. Sounds like Latvia is a similar story.

The reason we struggle to find people willing to work these jobs is we've educated 'everyone' to university level qualifications. Which is good because it means our educated Brits are valued abroad. As long as we don't migrate or live abroad permanently and continue to pay taxes, working for high end technology companies it's all good news.
Post edited at 20:24
Timmd on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:
> As for the EU seasonal workers scheme - let's see what is introduced. The impression I have so far is that every sector which uses migrant workers is up in arms asking for an exemption from new, tighter rules on immigration. Given that "reducing immigration" is repeatedly cited as a reason to leave, it will be infuriating to give up our rights to live and work in other countries only to end up with the same immigration we have at present; or if we do tighten up, some industries will inevitably suffer. You can't have it both ways.

Exactly. If you add into that, that the 'knowledge economy' in the UK could suffer as a result of less funding for universities and for science research as a result, it wouldn't be good.
Post edited at 20:34
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Wanderer100 - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Mr Lopez:

> Excellent idea.. Removing the laws in place that protect children from exploitation and put them to work in the farms sounds like a price worth paying for the benefit of the older generation not having to hear people talking in Polish while in the pub. And if the new empire doesn't work out as planned we can also give one up to the ungrateful Asians and set up a bunch of sweatshops around the country managed by G4S or ATOS and go all the hog back to the glorious times of Dickens and co.

I'd be hard pushed to find something to exceed the idiotic sentiment your expressing in that post
5
timjones - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:


> Given that they're a luxury item it's not the end of the world if some people buy strawberries fewer times a year.

What are you expecting people to live on?

It's not just strawberries, it's also courgettes, runner beans, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes etc.



Moley on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to krikoman:

> Probably argue with the Social about getting their benefits back. It seems if you take employment, getting you previous benefits back can be a real struggle.

Or being hard working Europeans who want to earn money, they may well move from fruit picking to veg harvesting through the winter. There is always farm work those that want it, right through the year.
Timmd on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Moley:

> Or being hard working Europeans who want to earn money, they may well move from fruit picking to veg harvesting through the winter. There is always farm work those that want it, right through the year.

On the same farms?
HardenClimber - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to rj_townsend:

The important thing is that he has changed his mind, and said so publicly.
We need more people like this.
They need to be congratulated and welcomed, not humiliated.

It is tempting to mock someone, but we need to encourage people to think again.
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Timmd on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to HardenClimber:
Well said. I fully agree. In the way that Leave people shouldn't try and shut down what people are saying about Brexit, and issues relating to it, and anything else, anybody who changes their mind shouldn't feel like they ought to keep quiet in case they're laughed at. We've all got to share the same country in the end, hopefully we can discuss what's happening somewhat agreeably .
Post edited at 22:36
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Moley on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> On the same farms?

No, they follow the seasonal work wherever it is.
Mr Lopez - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

> I'd be hard pushed to find something to exceed the idiotic sentiment your expressing in that post

Try here https://www.ukclimbing.com/user/profile.php?id=97708
2
Wanderer100 - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Mr Lopez:

No......Im not following you, unless your saying my profile is full of idiotic sentiment, in which case I'm still not following you.
krikoman - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> Given that they're a luxury item it's not the end of the world if some people buy strawberries fewer times a year. Although if we can work towards more well paid jobs in the UK by decreasing use of cheaper imported labour then the problem might just resolve itself.

I do beg your pardon I thought you were talking about migrant workers per sa and our farming methods as a concept.
1
RomTheBear on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to wintertree:
> Given that they're a luxury item it's not the end of the world if some people buy strawberries fewer times a year. Although if we can work towards more well paid jobs in the UK by decreasing use of cheaper imported labour then the problem might just resolve itself.

Yeah sure if we all reduce our living standard and we start buying cheaper food items, after all, we'll be fine. Lol.
Welcome to brexit Britain ladies and gentlemen, we hope you like tinned beans on toast !
Post edited at 15:48
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TobyA on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

My first Goretex jacket (a Phoenix Topaz) was paid for entirely by a summer holiday spent picking raspberries, strawberries and beans. I loved that jacket!
TobyA on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Moley:
I remember fruit picking being tedious and hard work, you met some interesting character amongst the non school or uni student pickers ("so there he was, shagging my missus. So I stabbed him with a screwdriver. 9 times. Well yer got to, haven't yer?"), but it was hard graft and I don't miss it. Working in McDs which I did subsequently was better money and not quite as hard work.

I do remember after my first year of uni going back to strawberry picking in the summer, and I'd get through a day by basically going through in my head, left to right, all the routes on Ben Nevis having pretty much memorised the Kimber guide that year!
Post edited at 17:49
Timmd on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:
> I remember fruit picking being tedious and hard work, you met some interesting character amongst the non school or uni student pickers ("so there he was, shagging my missus. So I stabbed him with a screwdriver. 9 times. Well yer got to, haven't yer?"),

I've not met anybody quite like that while volunteering, but it's interesting how good you become at getting on agreeably with people who you wouldn't otherwise spend any time with, I thought, from having to work along side them all day. It's possible to find a way of joking and getting along with people who are quite odd, or quite extreme.
Post edited at 19:42
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