Views Sought on Migrant Labour in British Dairy

UK - The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers has relaunched its migrant workers survey following concerns expressed by the British government of over-reliance on migrant employees.
calendar icon 20 October 2015
clock icon 2 minute read

The survey aims to achieve an up-to-date picture of how migrant workers contribute to the British dairy industry.

“We want to build on our survey carried out 12 months ago, believed to be the first of its kind in the sector taking in 250 producers, and extend to 2,500 producers in order to bring further clarity to the situation and subsequently make some firm recommendations to solve the various issues surrounding migrant labour,” said RABDF policy director, Tim Brigstocke.

The Association's 2014 survey showed that one third of producers had employed foreign labour, with the majority agreeing it had been a success.

“If the Central and Eastern Europeans went back to their native countries then dairy farming would be in dire straits as so many producers are now dependent on this migrant labour force,” said Mr Brigstocke, referring to the potential for a UK exit from the EU.

The UK government said businesses were partly to blame for what it called "disappointing" rising net migration figures, by relying on foreign employees.

Mr Brigstocke added: “Once again, we will also be sharing the findings with Government which surprisingly does not collect any such data on migrant labour, and the sector at large, in particular agricultural colleges who quite clearly have a role to play in training migrants to overcome language difficulties.”

Dairy farmers can complete the survey by clicking here (opens in new window).

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