Food Workers and Brexit

The food industry told foreign workers on July 5th that they matter when prices of foodstuffs and stocks in food-producing companies raised prices and eliminated investments in Britain. Foreign workers are important to the cultivation, processing, packaging, and delivery of food to supermarkets and retailers all across the developed world. Even in the United States, a huge amount of the produce produced (from almonds to oranges and strawberries) is produced by the labor of undocumented workers, many of whom come here for jobs but end up staying for the trap criminally low wages stick them in.

Prices being raised and investments being pulled out of Britain, especially at this volatile time, does no one any good, but it does signal that in the chaos that Brexit has caused to the European economy, the importance of agricultural policy and fair trade policies with local farmers as well as employment policy for the many farmers working on large European-owned farms cannot be overstated.

If Britain doesn’t find a way to secure its current agricultural industry’s ties with Europe through access to the common market quickly, the majority of Britons may not notice anything. Certainly, the wealthiest wouldn’t. However, the poorest Britons who feel the pain of every increase on milk and eggs will continue to be impoverished and the poorest among them will continue to starve, go homeless, and sometimes dies. That shouldn’t be the Britain either side wants.

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