NHO Mat og Drikke, which represents the food and drink sector in Norway, has welcomed an initiative by the Norwegian government to encourage those that have been laid off by their employer due to COVID-19 to take up a role in the agri-food sector.
New legislation means that if a worker is laid off and takes up an agricultural role, he or she will be able to earn both a salary from the farmer as well as half his or her unemployment benefit.
The initiative was introduced due to fears that the farming sector in Norway will be particularly affected by the coronavirus, particularly due to a lack of seasonal workers.
"This is a scheme that will provide incentives for laid-off workers to work in the fruit and vegetable sector," commented Petter Haas Brubakk, CEO of NHO Mat og Drikke.
"If we manage to transition laid-off workers to employment in fields and greenhouses, even more farmers and gardeners can carry out the season as planned. It will be a relief to many concerned business leaders in this industry."
Brubakk added that seasonal workers constitute a very important segment of workers in the fruit and vegetable industry, many with 'valuable expertise'.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.