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Up to £60m in UK crops left to rot owing to lack of workers, says NFU

Farming union chief says situation ‘nothing short of a travesty’, as crops also hit by drought and record heat

As much as £60m of food has been wasted on farms because of a labour shortage, according to the National Farmers’ Union, which found at least £22m of fruit and vegetables had been wasted so far this year.

The NFU said 40% of respondents to a survey of its members said they had suffered crop losses as a result of labour shortages, with farms 14% short of the size of the workforce they needed on average. The problems were worsened by some staff not turning up for work or quitting early.

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