Wednesday 21 October 2020
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WATCH: Agriculture workers urged to operate as 'families'

WATCH: Agriculture workers urged to operate as 'families'

Thursday 16 April 2020

WATCH: Agriculture workers urged to operate as 'families'

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.

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.”

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.”

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