Between 15,000 and 20,000 too few seasonal workers

Agricultural and horticultural companies in Belgium are experiencing shortages of seasonal labour. The Flemish agricultural industry federation Boerenbond says that the shortfall is between 15,000 and 20,000 seasonal labourers. The organisation hopes that foreigners will soon be able to enter Belgium to take up seasonal jobs in agriculture. 

In theory seasonal labourers, many of whom come from Eastern Europe should be able to come to Belgium. However, there have been misunderstandings at our country’s borders and Boerenbond says that police have turned foreign labourers away at border check points.

The organisation’s spokeswoman Venessa Saenen says that these problems have now been resolved. Instructions have been issued to Belgian embassies abroad stating that seasonal labourers are welcome to come and work in Belgium.  

This will be more than necessary with May and June being busy months for our farmers and growers. Ms Saenen points out that agricultural business have received help from people that had been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, but many of these people are now able to return to work.