Agricultural workers will now have to work in ‘household teams’ and have shopping delivered to them to allow them to continue farming and exporting goods to support the local economy throughout lockdown.
The government announced last night that the group had been officially dubbed ‘essential employees’.
However, this does not mean that they will be able to work as normal. They will instead have to adhere to a strict new set of safety guidelines to reduce the spread of covid-19.
These involve maintaining social distancing while at work, and operating in ‘household work teams’ that both share accommodation and work together, but remain isolated from other teams.
1/2 Agricultural workers have been defined as essential employees as they continue to support the industry and local economy through the farming and export of local produce, during a traditionally busy time for the agricultural industry. pic.twitter.com/Wh9QhgV52M— Government of Jersey (@GovJersey) April 15, 2020
Arrangements should also be made for food and essentials to be delivered to workers’ homes to avoid the need for them to go shopping in the community, and companies should limit the number of transport vehicles in use.
Among those adapting their working processes is the Jersey Royal Company, whose Sales and Marketing Director William Church explained in a video: “As a business, the Jersey Royal Company, we’ve got many different houses and flats and accommodation blocks around the island, and each of those people are, in effect, a family.
“So we’re getting those people working together and we’ve got smaller teams working in more locations around the island to keep them apart and to keep them together, as it were.”
With Easter just around the corner, we met up with William Church from @JerseyRoyalCo, who explained how they are working with local supermarkets & their staff to make sure they are all practicing social distancing while harvesting Jersey Royals. pic.twitter.com/AFPzhG5xjD— Government of Jersey (@GovJersey) April 8, 2020
He said that the company has now made an arrangement with a supermarket to “bulk” purchase food for the company’s 300 workers, which will then be brought directly to their accommodation.
The government’s Agricultural and Business Advisor, John Vautier, commented: “The Jersey agricultural sector plays a small, but essential role in the export of goods to the UK, as well as receiving imports. Farm workers have been supported to ensure social distancing is maintained as much as possible.
"By introducing the new measures, we have reduced the likelihood of coronavirus spread between different groups, protecting more people, while sustaining the Island’s industry.”
Economic Development Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham added: “These measures are a really positive step as they ensure Jersey farmers are able to continue to supply produce to both our supermarkets and local farm shops, giving islanders access to locally farmed fruit, vegetables, dairy, eggs and meat.”
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.