“The most destructive object on the planet,” writes Julian Cribb in this alarming assessment of our food future, is “the human jawbone. It is presently devouring the Earth – and that is not a wise strategy for our long-term survival”. Our rapacious desire to consume has caused wars, built empires, permanently changed the Earth’s ecosystem, and is now pushing humanity towards a cliff edge. Climate change, environmental degradation, unsustainable growth, and industrialised agriculture are part of a toxic cocktail that means “the world faces the greatest threat to global food supply in all of human history”.
The Irish Times
Rural bodies have warned the salary thresholds considered as options for the UK’s immigration policy could make it more difficult for farms to employ seasonal workers. A report published yesterday (Tuesday, January 28) by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) ruled out implementing an Australian-style points-based system and recommended lowering the salary thresholds. It recommended a two-tier system, using points for skilled professions and a salary threshold for lower-skilled jobs. But this could make it harder for seasonal farm workers and agri-food production staff to get entry.
The food and drink sector employ a significant number of EU workers (on both a temporary and permanent basis). It has recently been reported by the Food and Drink Sector Council that up to 28% of employees within food and drink manufacturing are EEA nationals – this is a significant figure and Brexit is likely to impact the availability of this source of labour, particularly in relation to lower-skilled roles.