Saturday 21 October 2017

Fruit costs to 'soar' if lack of EU labour

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The price of strawberries and other British summer fruits will "soar" if Brexit negotiations fail to allow for seasonal labourers from Europe to cultivate and harvest the crops, according to a report.

Prices for strawberries and raspberries will rise by 35pc to 50pc if Brexit restricts access to EU labour, the report by farm business consultant Andersons for industry body British Summer Fruits predicts.

It also foresees a slump in government revenue from income tax, corporation tax and national insurance, falling soft fruit consumption, less soft fruit being grown in the UK and growers going out of business.

The report said the UK would experience significantly reduced food self-sufficiency and a negative shift on the UK's balance of payments as a result of increased imports if growers could no longer employ EU seasonal workers.

Irish Independent

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