Prince Charles has urged Britons to help pick fruit and vegetables across the country, as coronavirus risks a shortage of seasonal labour.
Farmers are worried that Covid-19 travel restrictions could stop pickers from eastern Europe coming to the UK for the harvest.
The government’s “Pick for Britain” initiative aims to connect those in the UK seeking work with producers to ensure crops are not left to rot in the ground.
In a video message today, the Prince of Wales likened the project to the Women’s Land Army, which helped boost Britain’s food production during World War Two.
He said: “If we are to harvest British fruit and vegetables this year, we need an army of people to help.
“If the last few weeks have proved anything, it is that food is precious and valued, and it cannot be taken for granted.”
The future king, who runs an organic farm at his home in Gloucestershire, concluded: “I do not doubt that the work will be unglamorous and, at times, challenging.
“But it is of the utmost importance and, at the height of this global pandemic, you will be making a vital contribution to the national effort.”
Peak periods for harvesting produce run from June to the autumn and it is hoped that people including students and laid-off hospitality workers will take the opportunity.
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