19 May 2020

Prince Charles encourages furloughed workers to get jobs picking fruit and veg during pandemic

The Prince of Wales has called for an 'army of people' to find jobs on UK farms helping to pick fruit and vegetables during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Government’s initiative called 'Pick for Britain' has been launched following concerns that crops will go to waste. 

There is currently a shortfall of around 90,000 fruit and vegetable pickers due to the travel restrictions put in place, as most seasonal workers travel from abroad each year. 

Prince Charles has addressed the nation in a video on Clarence House Twitter and said the farms needs people who are 'genuinely going to commit'.

The 71 year-old, who has his own organic farm in Gloucestershire, said: “I do not doubt that the work will be unglamorous and at times challenging, but it is of the utmost importance, and at the height of this global pandemic you will be making a vital contribution to the national effort.

"Harvesting runs until the early autumn and people are needed who are genuinely going to commit.

“The phrase I have often heard is ‘pickers who are stickers’.

And he compared the call for workers to the Second World War when the 'The Women’s Land Army' was created to help boost food production. 

He continued: "If the last few weeks have proved anything it is that food is precious and valuable and cannot be taken for granted. This is why that great movement of the Second World War, the Land Army, is being rediscovered in this newly created Pick for Britain campaign.

“In the coming months many thousands of people will be needed to bring in the crops. It will be hard graft, but it is hugely important if we are to avoid the growing crops going to waste.”

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