Jersey does not use gangmaster labour

William Church Director, Jersey Produce Marketing Organisation

Sir; The picture used in your article last week on migrant workers is mis-representative ('Migrant workers were left unpaid for 35 days', The Grocer, 18 August, p60). The photo shows a Polish girl planting Jersey Royal potatoes. The Jersey Royal Potato (Marketing) Company does not use any gang labour and neither do any other employers in the Jersey Agricultural industry. Further to that, Jersey, while being part of the British Isles, is not part of the EU, is self-governing and has its own labour laws, which differ to those on mainland Britain. To a casual observer it is quite likely that there would be no link between ourselves and the article, which does raise some very important and serious issues of exploitation of labour. That said, owing to the unique manner in which Royals are planted, I am sure that most retailer employees who have visited the island and witnessed this process would recognise the setting and the work being undertaken. At no point would I like an unnecessary and incorrect link to be made by your readers to labour practices here in the island.