Prince Charles Suggests Those Out Of Work Consider A Job Picking Fruits And Vegetables, Receives Backlash

Kristin Salaky
Photo credit: Clarence House - Twitter
Photo credit: Clarence House - Twitter

From Delish

Prince Charles is receiving backlash this week after promoting a campaign calling for people who have been furloughed from their jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic to pick fruits and vegetables.

Prince Charles appeared in a video on the Clarence House Twitter page in support for the "Pick for Britain" campaign, a UK government initiative which seeks to find people work on produce farms, particularly those who are furloughed. The UK is currently facing a labor shortage at fruit and vegetable farms because of travel restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak, according to CNN, and without people to pick the produce, it could rot on the vine.

"In the coming months, many thousands of people will be needed to bring in the crops. It will be hard graft but is hugely important if we are to avoid the growing crops going to waste," he said.

He called for a second coming of the "Land Army" during World War I, which saw many women taking on agriculture jobs as men were called to fight in the military.

"It is of the utmost importance, and at the height of this global pandemic you will be making a vital contribution to the national effort," he said.

A follow-up tweet from Clarence House asked those who are "looking for work in these difficult times to consider a job picking fruit and vegetables." This echoes comments from George Eustice, environment secretary in the U.K., who announced the Pick for Britain campaign by calling on furloughed British workers to take on these jobs, as only one-third of migrant workers typically expected have arrived in the U.K. as of now.

Prince Charles seemed to get a heated response online, with many questioning the safety of working on such farms and with others criticizing the "optics" of a royal asking citizens to do manual labor.

Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus back in March but has since recovered and left self-isolation.

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