Concordia has been recruiting workers from countries all over the world to come and work on UK farms since 1943. What is now known today as our Seasonal Workers programme, allows our participants to travel somewhere new, earn money, and gain new skills and experiences, so that they can thrive. Our main focus is always the safety and security of our workers, and so when they face challenges, we want to help. 

We have received reports from some participants on our Seasonal Workers programme that they have paid fees to middle-men, with the false promise of 'guaranteed' work on a UK farm. This is strictly illegal under UK law and completely unethical. Our participants only pay for their VISA and travel costs, with insurance, translation and many more services, offered at no extra cost by Concordia. 

 

Figure 1: A Concordia farm worker picking apples. 

 

Although the practice of charging additional fees is illegal in the UK, it is not always illegal in the countries where our International Agents are based. These middle-men often intimidate participants so much that they feel forced to pay these fees. With the Pay No Fees campaign, we want all our participants to feel empowered to say no.  

Through the power of social media, we want to spread the word that Seasonal Workers programme participants should never pay fees to come and work on a UK farm. Head to www.concordia.org.uk/paynofees to download our campaign materials pack.  

Editors Notes: 

Concordia: 

Concordia is a charity based in Brighton. Our mission is to support people to develop skills and gain experiences so that they can thrive. We run programmes that change lives and nurture global citizens who care about each other,  their local communities and the world. We are part of a global community we work with partners and people from all over the world. All our projects are local - whether they are just up the road from us or on the other side of the world. We do this by working with local communities delivering programmes that respond to local needs.  

Concordia was founded in 1943. Since then, Concordia has supported around three-quarters of a million people to undertake incredible programmes that support local communities all over the world. 

In December 2020 we launched our new five-year strategy to support people to develop skills and gain experiences so that they can thrive. Our strategy focuses our work on being the leading charity that promotes and supports people to develop skills and gain experiences. We will continue to be a financially resilient charity with a broad range of income streams that support the delivery of our purpose. We will always deliver excellent programmes that truly impact our service users. We will always be the ethical leaders in providing programmes that develop people’s skills and experiences. Over the next five year we will support more people to have life changing experiences and journeys. To do this effectively we will work in collaboration and partnership with others to achieve our ambition. To find out more about this visit: concordia.org.uk/Pages/News/ 

Seasonal Workers Programme:  

Our mission since 1943 has always been to support people to develop skills and gain experiences they need in order to thrive.  We started on a small scale with a few farm workers staying in canvas tents. 

Things have progressed considerably since then - we are now a government trusted recruiter of seasonal labour for the UK agriculture and horticulture industry, with the mission to foster cross-cultural understanding between citizens all over the world. As part of the Seasonal Workers Pilot, we recruit thousands of workers every year, in collaboration with our international agents. Find out more about our international agents here: concordia.org.uk/about-our-agents 

Today Concordia has a strong ethical reputation. As a charity we continue to lead the way in all aspects of our work. Our commitment to excellence in recruitment and support for workers continues to drive our way of working with best-practice initiatives such as our pastoral fund, emergency support and comprehensive membership package for workers and our commitment to delivering the best possible service to our network of farms. 

youtube.com/watch?v=KG_zZzQWWfE 

 

Websites:  

concordia.org.uk 

 

Social media: 

instagram.com/concordiavolunteers/ 

facebook.com/ConcordiaVolunteers/ 

twitter.com/ConcordiaChat 

linkedin.com/company/concordiacharity 

 

 

Available for interview:  

  • Simon Bowyer, Chief Executive Officer, Concordia 

[email protected] 

01273 422218 

  • Karen Goode, Head of Commercial Operations, Concordia  

[email protected] 

01273 422293 

   

Press Contact:  

  • Kate Quick, Head of Marketing, Communications and Fundraising  

[email protected]