Strawberry shortage incoming post-Brexit – farm owner

The owner of the farm that offers Wimbledon with its strawberries has stated she hopes there is a system for European people to work seasonally in the UK after Brexit.

Marion Regan, who owns Hugh Lowe Farms in Kent with her hubby Jon, counts on seasonal labour to make sure the tennis champion is provided with fresh fruit throughout the competition.

The farm sends out about 28,000 kg (61,700 pound) of strawberries to the occasion each year, the majority of which is selected by eastern Europeans.

Regan stated: “In typical with great deals of other horticultural manufacturers, such as apple growers and salad growers, all of us depend upon having a great supply of seasonal labour to assist hand-harvest our crops, and we are incredibly fortunate on this farm to have some wonderful people primarily from eastern European Union nations who come here for the summer season.

” I quite hope that when we leave the European Union there will still be a system by which these excellent youths are still able to come here.”

Recently a report commissioned by British Summer Fruits, the market body that represents 97% of berries provided to UK grocery stores, alerted that strawberry and raspberry costs might increase by as much as 50% as an outcome of Brexit.

The BSF chairman, Laurence Olins, stated: “This is as severe as it gets. If we do not have the pickers, we do not have a soft fruits market.”

The report states 95% of seasonal fruit pickers in Britain originate from the EU.

The BSF prompted the federal government to permit labourers from Europe to operate in Britain after Brexit on fixed-term agreements to fill the jobs it states British people do not want.

Pickers at Hugh Lowe Farms in Mereworth show up for the summer season, remaining on website then returning home when the season is over.

A group of about 35 pickers start at 5am when the strawberries are cool. They bring them to the packhouse to chill, where they are dispatched to Wimbledon that day or the next, prepared to be served with cream.

Regan’s household initially went to Kent to plant fruit in the 1890s, and have been supplying all Wimbledon’s popular strawberries for the previous 25 years.

” I think the catering services at Wimbledon like our strawberries because they’re really fresh and they’re extremely local. We can get them to them within a day of being chosen,” she stated.

A federal government spokesperson stated: “Leaving the EU provides us the chance to design a much better system that works for the UK’s farming market and assists our farmers to grow more first-rate food.”