Startups Blog

Beyond the Virus: Worldwide Crop Picking Labor Shortfall

 

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting businesses and industries all over the world. However, with food supplies running short across the globe, it appears that the agriculture industry is feeling the pinch more than most. A good example of this can be seen in the falling cost of vegetables and green crops. For instance, asparagus is now worth around a third of what it was at the start of the year.

crop

Agricultural businesses and farms are dependent on migrant workers. Not only are lockdown matters preventing them from traveling to places of work, but social distancing is also changing the way that people work together. For some migrant farm workers, standing six feet apart simply isn’t possible.

There are thought to be more than three million migrant farm workers in the US alone. Their health, and work, will continue to be under threat.

For that reason, farms and agriculture are crying out for additional support. But what happens beyond the lockdown?

 

Time to Look for Alternative Solutions

Migrant workforces have, on the whole, helped to keep farms worldwide running. They are crucial in helping to ensure that food supplies, as well as exports, continue to roll in and out. However, as many migrants find themselves trapped overseas, or isolating, things are changing.

It is a clear indicator that other channels for hires must be sought. The United Nations claims that the lockdown period may erase 195 million jobs worldwide. This, furthermore, is supposedly set to take effect by the end of the second quarter.

Therefore, agricultural-businesses need to look carefully at the bigger picture. Rather than relying on one or two hiring channels, a broader scope is crucial for future adaptation.

Many agricultural firms may claim that no other channels are as affordable or as viable as migrant support. However, there are a number of alternative routes they should pursue immediately.

 

 

Can Staffing Agencies Help?

Services like Fundz may help farms and agricultural businesses find the support they need through staffing agencies. In the midst of lockdown, now may be the time to head to an agency for ad hoc support. Leveraging a database of startup companies may hold the key to bridging this widening gap.

However, staffing agencies may offer long term support post-lockdown. This crisis is forcing people to learn some particularly tough lessons. For the agricultural industry, and many others, it is that there is a need for more than one or two basic hiring channels.

Staffing agencies help to bridge mutual connections. They will help businesses find people and appeal to workers in need, who may not have thought about working in the industry before.

At times such as these, needs must – for both employers and employees. If anything, the end of lockdown will show that the world needs to be better prepared in many ways.

 

What’s Next?

If projections from the UN are worth believing, job losses will continue. Post-lockdown, agricultural businesses must be ready to set up firmer staffing backups. Thanks to online bridges to staffing agencies, this might be entirely achievable.

 

SOURCES

https://www.freshfruitportal.com/news/2020/04/10/north-american-blueberry-industry-concerned-by-market-disruptions-as-season-gets-underway/

https://qz.com/1836376/falling-asparagus-prices-show-coronavirus-impact-on-global-food-system/

https://www.farminguk.com/news/-record-demand-for-uk-farm-jobs-due-to-covid-19_55399.html

https://fortune.com/2020/04/03/farmworkers-coronavirus-essential-workers-covid-19-agriculture/

http://www.ncfh.org/uploads/3/8/6/8/38685499/fs-migrant_demographics.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/07/covid-19-expected-to-to-wipe-out-67-of-worlds-working-hours