Labour provider Concordia confident on horticultural staff supply as Orme's departure leaves gap

Departing Concordia chief executive Rob Orme said 2016 had been "a challenging year for all labour providers," after exit from the EU, but there will be a scheme that gives "certainty" coming in.

Rob Orme
Rob Orme

Orme added in a letter to customers: "I am confident that the exit from the EU will bring about a scheme for horticultural recruitment that will bring certainty to us all in labour supply. We are already supporting the NFU with their lobbying on this, and expressing our opinion on the matter via media interviews. This will be a great opportunity for Concordia to continue its important role within horticulture."

Orme will be moving on from Concordia at the end of March 2017, after eight years in the role. A replacement is being sought.

Hayloft Plants' Derek Jarman said: "The horticultural industry needs someone who understands the importance of temporary seasonal labour in close contact with the Government Home Office. Losing Rob Orme next March when Theresa May intends to trigger Article 50 is a serious problem for horticulture. I know that Concordia work closely with the NFU so hopefully there is someone either within Concordia or the NFU who can negotiate with a Government who can’t currently be bothered to discuss Brexit in the House of Commons, let alone with insignificant horticultural businesses and their trade bodies.

"We have a European Plant Passport system which gives free movement of plants across Europe subject to plant health inspections in the producing country. We hear lots about Banking Passporting in the National Media, never once have I heard about the effect of Brexit on Plant Passporting."    

At the end of 2016, Terry Crosswell will retire, following 12 years of service at Concordia. 


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