Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Fruit growers’ fears over government quarantine plan

Most Scottish fruit growers hope to get their usual seasonal workers by the middle of June.
Most Scottish fruit growers hope to get their usual seasonal workers by the middle of June.

Scotland’s soft fruit growers fear the UK Government’s plans to impose a quarantine of up to 14 days on air passengers could make thousands of pickers change their minds about travelling here to work.

Commercial flights are still flying into the UK from Bulgaria and many thousands of pickers are scheduled to arrive in Scotland by the middle of June from both Bulgaria and Romania, but Carnoustie grower James Porter, of East Scryne farm, says he is worried a 14-day quarantine before they can start work is likely to put them off making the trip.

“Most growers are hoping to get our usual workers by the middle of June, and we don’t know the detail of the UK Government’s plan yet, but it certainly wouldn’t help us if they go ahead with a 14-day quarantine,” he said.

“There’s a good chance that workers would be asked to have another 14-day quarantine when they go back home, so if they’re just here to work for two months, two weeks in a caravan is a big ask.”

Mr Porter, who is chairman of NFU Scotland’s horticulture committee, has written to the UK Government on behalf of the industry calling for clarification on the measures they are planning to take and setting out his concerns.

He said the industry already had plans in place for a seven-day quarantine period followed by one week of segregation from other staff, a proposal it has now shared with government.

Mr Porter said another option being suggested by growers was to test workers when they arrive, but it was currently unclear if tests would be available for this purpose.

A spokesperson for Defra confirmed further detail on quarantine arrangements would be forthcoming shortly.

Meanwhile Mr Porter said most Scottish fruit farms are now employing a local workforce in addition to foreign labour.

“They are working away and doing their best on our farm, mainly doing crop husbandry rather than picking, but their output is not the same as that of experienced workers, so productivity is down,” he said.

“Some will get up to speed, but they’re not used to physical work.”

Among the labour force at East Scryne are an accountant, a lawyer, a bouncer and offshore workers.

nnicolson@thecourier.co.uk

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]