Take part in surveys on seasonal farm workers

Strawberries being grown
Norette Ferns

Are you a farmer who directly employs seasonal workers? Or a labour provider supplying labour to the agricultural sector in Scotland?

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) has been commissioned by the Scottish Government to undertake research to improve understanding of the labour market in Scottish agriculture in the summer of 2017.

Labour conditions and wage rates are key concerns for the Scottish Government, particularly in the context of the rising National Living Wage, but the issue of migrant workers has taken on new and greater significance following the UK’s decision in June 2016 to leave the European Union.

As part of their research SRUC are carrying out two surveys - one aimed at farm businesses and one aimed at labour providers.

James Porter, Chairman of NFU Scotland’s Specialist Crops Committee, has said:

"Access to labour is vital for Scottish agriculture, with sectors such as soft fruit and field vegetables being completely dependent on non-UK harvest workers.  We encourage all growers to participate in this survey, to provide the hard facts that will back up NFU Scotland’s message on the importance of the availability of workers post Brexit."

Echoing this sentiment, David Johnstone, Chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said:

"We are living in unprecedented times with Scottish agriculture facing some challenging years ahead. As we look to the future it will be vital that the Scottish Government has access to the most up-to-date information so that it can make informed policy decisions. Scottish Land & Estates would encourage participation in this survey so that we can make the right choices and secure the best future for Scottish agriculture."

Future phases of this project will include:

  • Survey work with non-seasonal agricultural farm workers in Scotland to gather their perspectives on the working conditions of seasonal workers
  • Survey work and in-depth interviews with seasonal agricultural workers themselves to understand the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors in their decision to come to Scotland, their migration pathways between different countries, regions and individual farms, their living conditions, and their future aspirations

You can also find updates on this project via: