Farm workers in Scottish agriculture: case studies

Case studies examining farm workers in Scottish agriculture and the international seasonal migrant labour market.


The researchers would like to thank all the participants and advisors to this study, for sharing their time and experience.

Research Advisory Group

  • Scottish Government,
  • National Farmers Union Scotland
  • Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority
  • Scottish Land & Estates
  • Association of Labour Providers

We specifically would like to thank the individuals that gave their time and effort in providing information throughout the course of the project. In particular, we would have been unable to provide such a comprehensive understanding of a complex system without detailed explanations of how seasonal labour provision operates in practice from a dedicated group of people. This group included farmers, labour providers, processors, agencies and the Research Advisory Group (established by the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services division within the Scottish Government).

The openness of many farm businesses was extremely welcomed, and a particular debt of gratitude is owed to those farms that facilitated access to their workforces. The report findings remind us that the sector is reliant on thousands of hard working people from highly varied backgrounds and geographies, who come to Scotland to work hard and earn a living. We would like to offer a special note of thanks to all of the seasonal workers from across the case study farms, many of whom gave up their free time willingly, for sharing their views, observations and insights. The research team now have a much greater appreciation of the contribution those workers play in (i) allowing the sector to prosper, (ii) contributing to local economies, and (iii) ultimately helping deliver growth to Scotland’s economy.


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