Prince Charles tells students, furloughed workers to pick fruits and vegetables so 'crops don't go to waste'

The 71-year-old said many people's routines have been "challenged" because of the coronavirus outbreak and the farming industry is no exception


                            Prince Charles tells students, furloughed workers to pick fruits and vegetables so 'crops don't go to waste'
(Getty Images)

Prince Charles has sent an appeal to students and furloughed workers from the official twitter account of Clarence House on May 19. In the message, the royal asked students and furloughed workers to help farmers harvest crops during the coronavirus pandemic. He urged people to pick fruit and vegetables to plug shortages in the labor market due to the outbreak.

In the video shared on the social media platform, the 71-year-old was seen standing outside by green pastures as he said many people's routines have been "challenged" because of the coronavirus, and the farming industry is no exception. “At this time of great uncertainty, many of our normal routines and regular patterns of life are being challenged. If we are to harvest British fruit and vegetables this year, we need an army of people to help,” Charles said in the twitter clip, promoting the British government's ‘Pick For Britain’ campaign, which is seeking to recruit people to help with the coronavirus-induced labor shortage.

“Food does not happen by magic. It all begins with our remarkable farmers and growers. If the last few weeks have proven anything, it is that food is precious and valued and it cannot be taken for granted,” the Prince of Wales said.

Charles also compared the need for harvesters for the ‘Pick for Britain’ campaign to the importance of the Land Army in World War II, a movement where women went to farming to help with food production after many men left the country to fight. “In the coming months, many thousands of people will be needed to bring in the crops. It will be hard graft but is hugely important if we are to avoid the growing crops going to waste,” he said, adding: “It will be hard graft but is hugely important if we are to avoid the growing crops going to waste. 

“I do not doubt that the work will be unglamorous and at times challenging, but it is of the utmost importance and at the height of this global pandemic you will be making a vital contribution to the national effort."

Meanwhile, another report stated that after the UK government urged furloughed workers to help with harvesting crops, its new recruitment website immediately appeared to have crashed. This happened after George Eustice, the environment secretary, appealed to the public to “lend a hand” in the harvesting while unveiling a new ‘Pick for Britain’ website to match farms needing seasonal staff with potential UK workers.

“Every year large numbers of people come from countries like Romania and Bulgaria to take part in the harvest, harvesting crops like strawberries, salads, and vegetables. We estimate that probably only about one-third of the people who would normally come is already here. Small numbers may continue to travel,” Eustice told the Downing Street press conference. But one thing is clear and that is that this year we will need to rely on British workers to lend a hand to help bring that harvest home.”

He also announced the launch of the new website, saying, “We believe those who are furloughed may be getting to the point that they want to lend a hand and play their part. They may be wanting to get out and they may be wanting to supplement their income. If they do feel that way, I would urge them to use that website and look at the opportunities that are there.”

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