The NFU says farmers will need an army of people to help them harvest fruit and veg in the coming months.
With a shortage of foreign seasonal workers, because of coronavirus, there are fears farms won’t have enough staff to pick crops.
Jeremy Best’s grows strawberries near Newquay in Cornwall. When picking begins in six weeks, because of coronavirus, he may not have enough staff.
It’s hoped people who are out of work because of Covid-19 will step in to support farmers this year.
For an already stretched industry, the coronavirus has caused concern for all types of farming and led to the postponement of the West Country’s popular country shows. The Devon County Show has been moved to 28th-30th August and Royal Cornwall Show to 10th-12th September.
The Royal Bath and West Show will aim to start on 31st July. Its chief executive fears what impact that will have on the rural economy, particularly as rural businesses are being hit hard.
The NFU has now launched a new online service aimed at capturing the fast-moving impact of coronavirus on farmers and growers. It hopes to build a clear picture so the government is able to respond.