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.
To ensure safe practice across the industry to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the government has released new guidelines to which the industry must adhere. These measures, designed to protect workers while ensuring the industry can continue its important work, include:
- The creation of household work teams
- Teams isolated from other teams
- Household work teams share accommodation
- Food and essentials are delivered to households
- Reduction in the number of transport vehicles
Agricultural and Business Advisor John Vautier said: ‘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.’
Regular food and environmental safety protocols continue to be in operation, which support the management of the new measures.
The Minister for Economic Development, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: ‘I’m proud that the government has been able to support our historic agricultural industry, which remains resilient and robust. The industry continues to function and adapt to maintain the important Jersey and UK import and export market throughout this difficult time.
‘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.’