An MP has called for urgent labour market support for local farmers.

After meeting with local farmers from across her constituency, Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has echoed calls to urgently fix the labour crisis in farming.

Farmers from across Oxfordshire highlighted the impact shortages of staff are having on harvesting crops and keeping livestock.

Since Brexit, the NFU, which represents farmers, has asked the government for a Covid visa recovery scheme, in the short term, after research conducted jointly with food organisations showed a gap of 500,000 workers across the supply chain. The NFU is also calling for a permanent seasonal workers’ scheme.

Peach Croft farm is a family run farm outside Abingdon, which uses traditional methods.

The whole food supply chain has been hit, and shortages are now being seen with a lack of HGV drivers as well as shortages in hospitality.

Bill Homewood, of Peach Croft farm, said: "This is skilled work, and it’s highly seasonal, so for the government to take away access to those skilled workers from abroad without a backup plan, has put us at a real disadvantage.

“We strive to produce food to the highest standards for the British public, and we need workers to help us achieve this.

"The last two years have been an incredibly tough time for farmers, and I hope we're listened to by the government."

The MP is calling for more and longer visas for the seasonal workers under the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme.

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