Farmers are being urged to quickly fill out a survey on their experience of the agricultural labour crisis, so that NFU Scotland can respond to a UK Government call for evidence that closes at the end of next week.

The union recently surveyed horticultural members on availability of seasonal migrant labour and now wants to expand this fact-gathering out to cover the availability of permanent and seasonal staff across all farming sectors, including pigs, poultry and dairy.

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The survey was launched by NFUS president Martin Kennedy, as he participated in a labour crisis webinar, hosted by NFUS East Central Region on Thursday evening, which involved more than 70 members, and heard from NFU England and Wales, the Road Haulage Association, Scotland Food and Drink and the Scottish Tourism Alliance on the growing labour crisis across all parts of the farming, food and tourism sectors.

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Union policy manager David Michie said: “The shortfall in both permanent and seasonal workers across Scottish agriculture is at crisis level. A recent survey has already identified that, for our horticultural members, seasonal staffing levels are 20% below where they need to be. We are also hearing, on a daily basis, problems being encountered on pig, poultry and dairy farms in securing permanent staff.

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“By creating this week-long short-life survey, that will take only minutes to complete, we aim to provide a robust response to a UK government call for evidence that closes at the end of next week," said Mr Michie.

“Responses to this survey will not only provide us with hard evidence to lobby the UK Government, but they will also help when we lobby Scottish government and talk to industry, and labour, education, and skills providers.”
This short notice survey, which will take less than five minutes to complete, can be found at: