Veg pickers ‘paid £20 an hour’ thanks to Brexit and Covid

Vegetable pickers have seen their salaries soar to almost £20 an hour thanks to a chronic labour shortage brought on by Brexit and Covid-19.

Both seismic events have been blamed for deterring thousands of immigrants from arriving and carrying out the roles, which Brits simply aren’t applying for.

Roughly 500,000 workers are needed to fill positions across the food supply chain, from pickers and packers to processors and drivers.

One agriculture boss has even suggested having the army on standby to help deliver food and stop supermarket shelves from being left bare.

It comes as the steep increase in wages is expected to be passed onto the customer.

In an email to customers, Simon Naylor, of Naylor Farms in Lincolnshire, said: ‘To keep people we have raised wages by 60% to nearly £20 per hour for packhouse staff and from this week we are having to pay them to turn up at £20 a day for a weekday and £30 for weekends.

‘This now is unsustainable.’

He added: ‘Yes a lot of us voted out [on Brexit] and now we have this problem!!!’