Sir, – In response to the comments made by David Taylor, Fred Bruce and the Courier Editorial “Local Workers Can Solve Berry Crisis” (July 27), that soft fruit farmers have abandoned local labour in favour of foreign workers, and should be making a greater effort to make the work appealing to local people to fill their demand for labour.
Sir, – There has been a lot of debate recently over why there doesn’t seem to be enough pickers for the strawberries.
Rotting crops due to labour shortages are a world away from the halycon days of berry picking in Tayside and Fife.
Sir, – Little is said about the actual numbers involved in the fruit picker shortage. The BBC reports there are 9,255 seasonal immigrant farmworkers in Scotland, around 1,500 less than required.
The Christmas robin is depicted as a roly-poly, jolly, little bird with scarlet breast feathers epitomising all that is warm and cosy about Christmas.
Sir, - The Courier archives last week showed that 100 years ago the Perthshire berry harvest was manned by 2,000 boys and girls from local industrial schools, Boy Scouts contingents from all over Scotland, plus 300 lady teachers.
June and July were the traditional times for soft fruit picking on the farms, but today we can grow our own berries in our gardens and allotments.
A new BBC show has heard claims that concerns about ‘child labour’ ended Tayside’s long-standing practice of families picking berries in the summer holidays. We dug into the DC Thomson archives to find these mementos of what seems to now be a lost tradition.
A Perthshire farmer has revealed how big name supermarket chains and fears about child labour laws ended the old school holiday tradition of berry-picking.