Guidance on social distancing for horticulture welcomed

NFUS Horticultural Committee chairman James Porter writes about the new guidance on social distancing for horticulture

While NFU Scotland remains fully committed to ensuring Scotland secures the workforce needed to ensure all of Scotland’s wonderful soft fruit, veg and plants make it to market, the safety of those picking, planting and planting is paramount.

Writing on the Union’s website blog, Horticultural Committee chairman James Porter, who grows soft fruit in Angus said

Regardless of whether our workforce is recruited domestically or from overseas, NFU Scotland remains in close dialogue with our governments to ensure all efforts are carried out in adherence to the best safety and medical advice.

It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to do whatever it takes to carry out effective social distancing and safety measures at this time, even when carrying out the most mundane or day-to-day agricultural activities. From the outset, NFU Scotland has utilised all its communication channels to highlight what is required and urge full compliance at farm level through safe and demonstrable social distancing.

NFUS Horticultural Committee chairman James Porter in a polly tunnel
Horticultural Committee chairman James Porter

This week, we also welcome the publication of new guidance from Scottish Government which comprehensively addresses key concerns regarding the use of transport and accommodation for workers, as well as a range of other essential tasks on horticultural units to ensure safety and hygiene. We urge members to access this guidance here on the SASA website.

To those workers who are already out in the fields – and to anybody who is considering putting themselves forward – you should feel proud of the vital role you will play in assisting our industry provide fresh, tasty and healthy produce as part of this nation’s Critical National Infrastructure. In return, Scottish growers will provide well-paid, rewarding work which, during these worrying times, can be carried out in the safest and most hygienic conditions, guided by stringent government advice on social distancing

you cand read the full blog here on the NFUS website.

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