Business event to highlight the importance of EU migration for region’s agribusiness

PUBLISHED: 15:24 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:24 27 September 2018

CBI to host talk in Ely about how EU migration is important for sectors like agriculture. Picture: Sonya Duncan

CBI to host talk in Ely about how EU migration is important for sectors like agriculture. Picture: Sonya Duncan

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

Business leaders will today hear about the importance of migration for the East of England agri-business, following the Government’s latest statement on how immigration could work post-Brexit.

President of the Confederation of British Industry John Allan will address hundreds of business men and women at the CBI’s East of England Annual Dinner at Ely Cathedral, which begins tonight at 7pm.

In his speech, he will tell the audience how European migration of all skill levels has helped the region and will praise the contribution of migrant workers in agribusiness.

Introducing his speech this evening, Mr Allan, will say: “The Fens account for half our country’s grade one farmland, growing more than a third of our vegetables, a quarter of our potatoes and nearly 40pc of our flowers.

“It’s not just the farms but the whole supply chain – from processing plants to logistics firms carrying produce to market.

“In agribusiness, migration matters. Today, EU workers make up 60pc of employees on our seasonal poultry farms. They constitute 75pc of our fruit and veg pickers and 85pc of our skilled abattoir vets.

“No other sector has a higher migrant workforce.”

On the need to dispel myths around migration, Mr Allan will say: “Last week’s migration report was the most detailed review into economic effects of migration ever conducted.

“And it dispelled the greatest myth of all – that migration is bad for our country. It found no evidence that European migrants have reduced jobs for UK workers.

“There was little, if any impact on wages. And that European migrants pay more in tax than they take out. These are important findings.

“The report recognises that 99pc of seasonal agricultural workers are from the EU. Without them, many businesses would close.”

On why migration should be on the table in trade negotiations, Mr Allan believes the freedom of movement “as we understand today” must end but that migration would be “powerful in striking better trade deals.”

Mr Allan will appeal to change the national conversation on migration, saying: “Migrants have brought skill, knowledge, care in our hospitals, teaching in our schools.

“So as the Government sets a new migration policy, I also think we need to seek a new national mindset about immigration.”

More news stories

Yesterday, 15:00

Inhumane treatment of segregated prisoners, a breach of basic human rights and a 200 per cent increase in prisoner-on-staff violence are just three of the failings at HMP Whitemoor, according to a new report.

Yesterday, 12:29

March is to play host to the first England darts youth grand prix finals.

Yesterday, 10:05

Three people were treated for ‘minor injuries’ last night after a lorry rolled on top of a car on the A141 Isle of Ely Way between March and Chatteris.

Yesterday, 15:13

A person had to be cut free from their vehicle after it veered off the road and landed in a Guyhirn ditch during the early hours of this morning.

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Cambs Times e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Cambs Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy