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Lincolnshire Food Producer to Invest £2M in Caravan Park for Overseas Farm Workers

A Lincolnshire-based food producer has announced plans to invest £2 million in constructing a caravan park, complete with sports facilities and a gaming area, specifically designed for overseas farm workers.

The proposed site, located near the village of Bennington, aims to accommodate approximately 200 seasonal labourers from Kazakhstan and Pakistan. This initiative is led by T H Clements, a company known for supplying vegetables to major supermarkets across the UK.

Chris Gedney, the managing director of T H Clements, emphasised the crucial role of foreign workers in the UK's food production sector. He highlighted the challenges faced in recruiting local labour for fieldwork, leading to instances of crop wastage due to labour shortages. Gedney believes that providing attractive leisure facilities will encourage these workers to prefer staying at the site.

The planned development includes 60 luxury caravans, an indoor gaming area, and a communal sports field. An application for this project has already been submitted to Boston Borough Council. However, some local residents have raised concerns about potential impacts on road traffic, healthcare services, and drainage systems.

The National Farmers' Union reported that only 11% of seasonal workers in the UK are residents. Despite efforts to attract British workers to rural agricultural jobs, including increased wages and various incentives like free lunches and social events, the response has been limited. This is partly due to the nature of the work, which is physically demanding, and the seasonal nature of the jobs, which does not align with the need for year-round employment to meet financial commitments like mortgages and bills.

The agricultural sector is increasingly looking towards technological solutions, such as robotics, to address the labour shortage. However, until such advancements become widely available and practical, the reliance on seasonal workers, particularly from abroad, remains a necessity for the UK's agricultural industry.

Employers are going to great lengths to ensure these workers have a positive experience, as their contribution is vital for maintaining the supply of food in the country.


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