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Members' help needed to provide evidence on local labour difficulties

12th May 2017 / By Zoe Davies

We need help from members to show the Government how dependent we are on migrant labour and how difficult it can be to recruit local staff.

Zoe FSAWe have been working on this with the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), which represents the big meat plants. 

Our concerns are well documented. With some companies already reporting difficulty in recruiting EU labour on the back of the Brexit vote and the subsequent depreciation of the pound, the industry fears the Government's Brexit immigration policy could erect further barriers to this vital labour source. The comments of Ministers on this issue have done little to ease our concerns.

You will recall our labour survey, which highlighted the problem and has proved to be an extremely valuable source of evidence to reinforce our case.

The NPA, BMPA and other organisations representing the food and farming sectors have been making the case to Government for policies that will secure a future supply of seasonal and permanent labour after we leave the EU - but with only limited success so far. 

We have done a good job convincing Defra (although the Home Office is proving a tougher nut to crack) of how dependent we are on migrant staff.

But they remain sceptical that we’ve made sufficient efforts to recruit locally. We know the lengths the pig production and processing sectors have gone to to try and recruit locally - it has proven time and again to be very difficult. 

But we now need evidence to back that up to put in front of Government. And that is where we need members' help. 

  • Do you have examples of what you have done to try and recruit more labour locally?
  • Can you provide evidence of any attempts, schemes or changes you as a business or the wider industry have made to try and recruit local labour? For example, we know there have been efforts to increase payments to young school leavers.
  • What results, if any, have those changes produced?

We really need a response from you on this as it will be crucial to our argument about retaining access to migrant workers.

Please email us at 

We will assume all response are anonymous UNLESS you specifically state you would like to share your views and experiences on the NPA forum.