The Department of Food Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) has abandoned it’s “Pick for Britain” campaign for 2021.

The scheme which was launched to help British farmers recruit seasonal workers from Britain during the Covid-19 pandemic, had initially set targets of recruiting 70,000 workers to help with fruit picking and packing.

A message on the Pick for Britain website stated:

“Last year, we ran the “Pick for Britain” campaign together to ensure we had enough seasonal workers to harvest fruit and vegetable crops during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As well as helping to recruit seasonal workers, the campaign raised the national profile of the UK edible horticulture sector, and in particular the important role it plays each year in feeding the nation.

“Defra would like to extend its sincere gratitude to all campaign partners who supported this project, as well as to the growers, recruiters, retailers, and other industry organisations who participated.

With your help, the Pick for Britain message generated unprecedented interest in these roles across the country, and helped our farmers and growers bring home the harvest.

“We are proud to have been part of this creative and collaborative campaign during such challenging times. HM Government will continue to help UK farmers and growers recruit the seasonal workers they need, including support for workers from the domestic labour market, those with EU Settled Status, and those coming in through the HMG Seasonal Workers Pilot.”

The government has introduced its Seasonal Worker Scheme for 2021 which will give access to 30,000 non-UK workers to undertake essential seasonal horticultural work.