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Lack of bulgarian migrant workers could affect UK fruit production

Date: 30.05.2007

Farmers said that they could leave strawberries and raspberries to rot because of the shortage of migrant workers to collect the crops.

The agriculture industry tried to convince the government to allow more migrants from Bulgaria and Romania , as well as non-EU countries, to enter the UK.

Environment minister Lord Rooker said that the farmers were right, while immigration minister Liam Byrne said that current immigration laws were the most suitable for the UK.

Only 19 750 low-skilled Bulgarian and Romanian workers are allowed to enter the UK every year. In the same time the number of workers from the countries which entered the EU in 2004 to go to the UK drops.

A survey of 13 fruit and vegetable growers showed that they registered a 55 per cent shortfall of workers.

Labour shortage might prove wrong UK government’s immigration policy based on the perception that the UK could find the low-skilled workers needed within the EU countries.

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