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Most of the research on migration has focused on the scale and effects of people exodus from rural to urban areas rather than on rural areas as recipients of migrants, especially foreign migrants. This study aims to analyse employment of foreigners in agriculture and food processing sectors of selected developed countries, with particular emphasis on the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. It first reviews existing literature on ideas and theories about human migration through the history of economic and social thought. This theoretical background lies in the economic, social, health, demographic and integrated theories and concepts of migration that help understand the pull and push causes as well consequences of current international migration processes. Next, this article presents some facts about the employment of foreigners in agriculture and food processing in developed countries traditionally affected by severe labour shortages in these sectors, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on employers and workers. The results reveal that labour shortages and labour exploitation are amongst the most frequent and relatively consistent issues associated with immigrant workers in the agri-food industry. During COVID-19, these problems were exacerbated and complemented with the workers’ health risk due to coronavirus clusters on farms and at food-processing plants.
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