Foreign seasonal worker harvesting tomatoes in Italy | Photo: Ciro Fusco /ANSA
Foreign seasonal worker harvesting tomatoes in Italy | Photo: Ciro Fusco /ANSA

The Italian farmers association Coldiretti said Monday that an interior ministry decree will make it possible for 18,000 non-EU seasonal workers to enter Italy. The association called it an "important measure for work in the fields in autumn."

Italy has given the green light for 18,000 non-EU seasonal workers to enter the country. Requests can be sent online via the interior ministry website until December 3, the country's largest farmers association Coldiretti said Monday, October 12.

The association underscored that the 2020 decree on immigration flows by the interior ministry, published in the official gazette, is especially important for addressing the lack of foreign seasonal workers in agriculture due in part to border and quarantine issues resulting from COVID-19 measures.

'Important for autumn harvest'

"The measure is important for the work in the fields in the autumn" Coldiretti said, "which is one of the most delicate times of the entire agricultural year, with harvesting in full force, and many farms at risk of finding themselves with not enough workers at the busiest time of the harvest for grapes, olives, and fruit."

Foreigners from 30 countries

The farmers association added that the decree is for the entrance of non-EU nationals for seasonal work in the agricultural and hotel and tourism sector from Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, South Korea, Ivory Coast, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Gambia, Ghana, Japan, India, Kosovo, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Moldova, Montenegro, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Republic of North Macedonia, Senegal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, and Ukraine.

"The important new element that was supported by Coldiretti," a statement said, is for 6,000 of these 18,000 to be trade union affiliated so that they will benefit by sending their requests for work via the unions themselves and will then be members of that union.

 

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