Category: Export Advice

‘Whole new business’

Farmers innovate to get food from field to plate during the coronavirus pandemic. A report from Reuters has explained the struggles that farmers currently face.

New recruits for seasonal work

Finding seasonal workers is a priority in Europe, where spring harvests are at risk because the usual vast armies of migrant labourers cannot leave home as all of the boarders are currently closed.

Spain, the European Union’s biggest fruit and vegetable exporter, has responded by allowing the unemployed to take farm jobs while keeping welfare payments, and has extended work permits for those migrants already in the country.

France has mobilised 15,000 French workers idled by the crisis so far to help offset a potential shortfall of 200,000 foreign labourers this spring. 

It has been suggested that farmers were frustrated that the new recruits lacked skills or had quickly quit. 

Poland, meanwhile, is struggling without Ukrainian seasonal labourers and the Russian Agriculture Ministry said prisoners might help out on farms in the absence of Central Asian workers. 

Germany, Britain and Ireland are allowing companies to bring in trained workers from Romania and other European Union states on charter flights with quarantine measures. 

U.S. President Donald Trump has exempted such migrants from a temporary curb on immigration during the crisis. 

Elsewhere, Nigeria’s federal government is making identity cards so farm workers can move freely during a national lockdown after many were stopped by police. 

Iraq’s Agriculture Ministry said farm workers were exempted from curfew measures and farmers were allowed to move harvesting machinery around the country. 

To keep transport links running smoothly, Brazilian toll-road operator CCR SA has distributed more than 1,000 food and hygiene kits a day to truck drivers as service outlets are closed. 

In Kenya, Rubi Ranch has been sending avocados to Europe by ship due to limited air freight capacity, as airlines have grounded aircraft and cut off the company’s usual supply route.

UK businesses urged to capitalise on export advice

Britain’s businesses are being urged to take advantage of specialist export advice in light of the fact that 62 per cent of companies in the UK are being held back from exporting by language barriers.

Recent figures released by the British Chamber of Commerce have revealed that a mere five per cent of UK companies speak enough French to do business in the country, while 58 per cent doubt that their product or service is even good enough to market overseas.

As a result, language experts Comtec Translations has urged SMEs to make the most of the sizable network of support available to successfully launch your business internationally.

Sophie Howe, MD, Comtec Translations has stated: “There is an abundance of support available for businesses that need to take the first few steps to exporting. Organisations such as UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) offers introductory services to overseas markets and specialist translation providers can provide support around handling communications material for overseas trade.

“Your local Chamber of Commerce can also provide useful advice and support,” advises Howe, who was recently featured on national radio talking about the challenges the UK faces as an economy to develop the vital language skills businesses need to enter international markets.

Brian Mountford, International Trade Advisor at the UKTI explains the advantages exporting will bring to a business: “On average, companies who export see a 34 per cent increase in productivity in their first year of exporting; they are 11 per cent more likely to survive, and they benefit from operating in a more competitive environment; attracting and providing more opportunities for higher skilled workers.”