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SAWS quota to increase by 5,000 in 2009
Some 5,000 more workers have been granted access under SAWS, home office minister Phil Woolas announced today.
Calls for immigration restrictions to relax
The government has been asked to relax labour market restrictions to migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria...
The success of NFU lobbying for an increase in the size of the SAWS has been appreciated by growers.
The success of NFU lobbying for an increase in the size of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme has been appreciated by growers whose businesses were affected by labour shortages last summer. Anthony Snell, a soft fruit grower near Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, said a shortage of available labour had had an impact on profitability. He said: "We were short of people all through the season for a variety of jobs and, in common with other growers, we had to walk away from some crops in the middle of the summer.
"It will make a huge difference to have these extra students and hopefully it will mean the crops can be picked on time, go into the supermarkets in good condition, and increase sales at a particularly difficult time.
"It's good that all the hard work the NFU has put in on this issue has been recognised. It's a little bit of light at the end of a dark tunnel after a particularly difficult year for everyone in horticulture." It is understood that the announcement by Home Office Minister Phil Woolas will mean an increase in the SAWS quota of 5,000 in 2009.