The shortage of migrant labour facing UK farmers could hit both supplies and prices of seasonal fruit and vegetables this summer, warns buying specialist Lynx Purchasing.
With growers struggling to recruit overseas workers, the newly-published Summer 2018 edition of the Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast urges hospitality and catering businesses to monitor supplier prices carefully as the summer season gets underway.
Managing director Rachel Dobson says, “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. With fresh salad crops and summer berries now ready for picking, the industry is struggling to recruit enough seasonal workers.
“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. Farmers and growers have asked for a commitment from government that they will have access to sufficient numbers of permanent and seasonal workers, and it’s an issue which needs a speedy resolution.”
The Market Forecast draws on exclusive data from a range of suppliers working with Lynx Purchasing to look at hospitality buying trends. Other produce areas highlighted in the Summer 2018 edition include:
Dobson adds. “Although the two bursts of freezing weather at the start of spring caught farmers off guard, the supply chain has plenty of experience of extreme conditions.
“Growers have largely caught up, so it would be a shame now if caterers have to reduce the amount of fresh produce featured on summer menus due to higher costs caused by the labour shortage. We’ll be monitoring the situation and advising customers as the season progresses.”
The Summer 2018 Market Forecast is available to download free from the Lynx Purchasing website at Lynx-Purchasing-Market-Forecast-Summer-18-pdf
Lynx Purchasing works with more than 2,200 hospitality and catering operators to match them with the best suppliers and get the best possible prices on food and drink, as well as a whole range of essential products and services. Lynx’s buying experts help operators buy better and save time and money, year after year.
Issued on behalf of: Lynx Purchasing
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