Agricultural veteran John Shropshire OBE has been selected to chair an Independent Review Into Labour Shortages in the Food Supply Chain. John is Executive Chairman of the G’s Fresh Group, a major horticulture producer.
He will be supported by an expert panel that draws in expertise from across the farming, fisheries, processing and manufacturing aspects of the supply chain.
John comments: “Our farming and food supply sectors are facing multiple challenges, and labour shortages are contributing to this. This review will help us understand how we can address labour shortages and boost productivity in the food supply chain.
“I’ve worked in the horticulture industry for many years and, along with the panel of experts supporting the review, I hope we can make some clear recommendations that will have a long-term impact on reducing pressure on farmers and increasing food security.”
G’s Fresh Group was founded by Guy Shropshire, John’s father, and it has won several national industry awards recognising its progress in technical and product innovation, exports and environmental management.
Improving productivity in agriculture
G’s was one of the early members of Agri-TechE and John helped to launch its report ‘From Grass Roots to Blue Skies: a vision for agri-tech’ at the House of Lords in 2017.
The application of machine learning, robotics and automation to agriculture are key themes within the Agri-TechE ecosystem, which is continually looking for innovation to boost productivity and sustainability within the sector.
Agri-TechE Director Dr Belinda Clarke comments: “We very much welcome the independent review into this critical bottleneck for the industry which we hear about constantly from our farmer members.
“From crop harvesting to veterinary supervision in abattoirs, we know that people are the lifeblood of agriculture and horticulture. Of course we hope and expect automation and robotics to play a major role in easing some of the huge demands on human labour, however for an efficient and profitable industry, people and machines will need to work alongside each other.”
More about G’s Fresh Group.