LETTER: Who can blame the Shrophires?

Your report regarding the Shropshires’ intention to move part of their business to Poland rang bells with me and it also resonated with my concerns for the post-Brexit future of the Soham area.

The reason it rang bells with me was because I well remember when I was in arable farming and we were producing thousands of bales of straw for sending to livestock farmers all over this country.

We needed extra help at harvest time and, for a start, we employed schoolboys.

The work was hard and many of them managed well.

However, we were let down too often, especially on hot days. Our next ploy was to employ students, many of them already studying agriculture.

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Most were superb and became firm family friends. However, we were let down too often again, especially when some of the students got ‘on the beer.’

We were then put in touch with farming students from New Zealand. They were the tops: they stuck the hard work and they, also, became family friends.

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But what if we had been like the Shropshires as to the scale of our business? We would have been stumped and would likely and eventually have turned to temporary migrant workers from the EU working alongside British staff. Other farmers do it on a small scale.

Who can blame the Shropshires for doing it too, given that few Brits want to do such work?

And, now, it could all be disrupted. Post-Brexit, there is no certainty that the Shropshires can continue with their present practices. Some may be full of glee at that. I am not. The departure of part of the Shropshires’ business is not good news for the Soham area nor for the country.

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