Wall Street Journal

No one knows how the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union will affect British farms’ access to European workers, but Guy Poskitt isn’t taking any chances.

Mr. Poskitt, a vegetable farmer in this North England port town, a few weeks ago installed seven carrot-sorting machines that separate the good from the bad with image-detection technology. Now his cavernous packing warehouse shudders with the sound of clanking metal as the Swiss-engineered machines zip 140,000 carrots an hour across rubberized conveyor belts.

The £2.3 million ($3.1 million) machines are being monitored by just six workers as they do the job 30 employees once did by hand.

“Now that we have Brexited, are we going to get access to labor?” said Mr. Poskitt, who hopes to recoup the investment within five years. “It is a huge problem.”

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