An agricultural recruitment agency has said that the “fundamental challenges that farmers face remain unchanged” despite the possible shift in the economic landscape following the General Election.

Chief executive at REAL Success, Paul Harris, said the Labour government’s agricultural policies, aimed at promoting sustainable farming practices, enhancing the environment and supporting rural economies are “commendable” and may bring about positive changes.

“But while it often feels that the changes being made at a government level are out of farmers’ hands, it’s crucial that they recognise many of the day-to-day challenges they face are within their control and require proactive management,” he said.

Key challenges

One of the key challenges listed by Harris is working conditions, as he said the quality of working conditions on farms is paramount if the industry is to recruit and retain staff.

“Farmers must ensure their workers have a safe, healthy, and supportive environment. This includes providing proper amenities, fair wages, and promptly addressing workplace concerns,” he said.

Another key challenge is how working hours are managed, he said.

“Overworked employees are less productive and more prone to accidents and health issues. Balance work schedules to maintain a healthy and efficient workforce,” Harris said.

On health and safety, Harris said the safety of farm workers in non-negotiable, and is another one of the key challenges faced by the sector.

“Implement and adhere to strict health and safety protocols. Regular training, proper equipment, and ensuring a culture of good health and safety can prevent many accidents and injuries,” he said.

While the Labour government’s initiatives may provide a supportive framework, the success of farms largely depends on the decisions and actions taken by individual farmers, Harris said.

“Farmers must take ownership of their operations and address these micro-level challenges head-on,” he said.

“By doing so, they can ensure a sustainable and prosperous future, regardless of broader policy changes.”

“We are committed to supporting farmers through transitions like these, by offering resources, training, and consultancy services designed to enhance operational efficiency and sustainability.”