Problems with sourcing labour has quickly become one of the earliest challenges from Brexit, with migrant labour increasingly hard to find and the devaluation of sterling meaning that their salaries aren’t worth as much as before the referendum vote. No one expects the challenges on labour to be resolved quickly or easily, and already farmers are changing their farming practices because of it. For example, some have put their expansion plans on hold, others are actively reducing cow numbers or reverting back from three times a day milking to two. Meanwhile the drive to mechanise in order to replace labour units will intensify.

With this in mind Kite Consulting has teamed-up with the RABDF at Dairy-Tech to explore the labour shortage issue, including the mechanisation issue. As part of that Kite and RABDF commissioned Ian Potter Associates to carry out a survey of over 1000 farmers to determine the extent of the problems being faced, and the dependence of the UK on migrant labour. The results will be presented and discussed at the event.

“The majority of Kite Consulting’s client base of farmers employ non-family members, with a significant proportion employing migrant labour,” says John Allen, managing partner.

“A very high proportion are reporting having serious issues with recruiting labour and this is rapidly acting as a brake to progress. We are therefore delighted to work with the RABDF and Ian Potter’s team to help determine the facts on the extent of the labour sourcing problems in the industry, and to try and find collective solutions,” says John Allen, managing partner.

“Only by working together like this to a common end will we start to make progress.”