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HOPS is urging growers to contact them for support in finding labour after the NFU revealed that the equivalent of 16 million apples has been left to rot in UK orchards due to the shortfall in labour.

The issues surrounding recruitment of seasonal labour are well documented at the moment but HOPS is reassuring growers that it has fulfilled nearly 100% of its labour requirements this year.

The survey carried out by the NFU showed that 1,147 tons of apples had already been wasted during this year’s harvest.

Sarah Boparan said: “If growers are struggling to find seasonal labour, we urge them to contact HOPS to see if we can help.

“We have managed to fill the majority of orders this year and our retention rates are also very high. We work with our growers to help guide them on recruiting and retaining workers.”

Uncertainty over Brexit and the changes to immigration are having an impact on recruiting seasonal workers. HOPS has advised its growers to explain the Government’s new pre-settled and settled status to their existing labour teams so they are aware of the changes and can register before 31 October.