'Food rots in fields as pickers desert UK'
As the Sunday Herald reported back in September:
Seasonal migrant pickers do unglamorous, often poorly paid, temporary jobs that the locals won't or can't do. Most native job seekers are looking for permanent positions, and our indigenous unemployed, who might be incentivised into seasonal picking work, currently lose their state benefits if they take up this work.
Horticulture suffers from an image problem too. Culturally, we make the mistake of seeing work on the land as backward and low status. We need to get back to thinking of it as we did in the second world war, when our food supply was being choked off by German U-boats and farmers and growers were seen as vital pillars of society, keeping the population from starvation.
Time for a little Frank Field type thinking at the DWP, I think. And time for an Ansel Adams, too: