Cows need milking, fruit and vegetables are ripe for picking and farmers and horticulturists are struggling to find staff.
The Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE), which allows industries to recruit workers from overseas for the season goes part way towards bridging the staff gap, but year after year farms, market gardens and orchards are desperately seeking workers.
One reason put forward for the shortage of workers when people are unemployed is that the work is seasonal and those who go off a benefit for short-term work find it difficult when they face a stand-down period before they can get a benefit again at the end of the season.
That might employ to some, but orchards which put a lot of effort into recruiting and training staff and finding work for them all year, still struggle to find enough staff.
Some say that workers aren’t paid enough to make the job attractive.
Dairy farm workers get well above the minimum wage plus accommodation.
A lot of horticulture work has performance pay – the more people pick the more they earn and anyone prepared to take the work seriously won’t find it difficult to make a decent wage.
But what’s enough?
Wages are a cost of production that has to be recovered when the produce is sold if the business is to be profitable.
Higher wages will lead to higher prices for food.
How much more are those saying people in dairying, horticulture and market gardening aren’t paid enough, prepared to pay for their food?
Nothing if complaints about the price of milk, butter, cheese, fruit and vegetables and tales of people being too poor to eat properly are taken seriously.