As in 2020 at the height of the first wave of Covid, when the labor shortage threatened the harvest, the campaigns are starting to worry about the summer of 2022. Farm managers, who recruit each spring and been between 190,000 and 290,000 seasonal workers for the harvests and grape harvests, fear that these crucial arms are still lacking, according to the FNSEA, the main agricultural union.
Employment: this summer, seasonal workers are missing
In question: the health restrictions which prevent foreign seasonal workers - the bulk of the reinforcements between March and July - from arriving in orchards, vineyards and market gardens in France. Even though the rules could ease in the coming weeks, these workers could delay their arrival. This is particularly the case for those coming from Morocco, who are very limited in their round trips by the restrictions on flights to this country.
“We also hope that French students will be there this year
,” points out Jérôme Volle, in charge of employment issues at the FNSEA.
While the number of French farmers has fallen by 20% in ten years, these pressures on the workforce are not new.
In 2021, the France farm, which uses 1 million seasonal contracts each year, signed an agreement with Tunisia, to increase reinforcements from this country.
These risks of shortage bring back to the fore the problem of the attractiveness of agricultural professions, and that of the renewal of generations.
Within ten years, more than one in four farmers will have to retire in France.