A FRUIT farm is having to manage with less workers than usual during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wilkin and Sons in Tiptree, famous for its jams and preserves, is entering the busy summer season.

It usually recruits fruit pickers including some from overseas but may have to cope with less this year.

Like many businesses, some staff have been placed on furlough and others are unable to travel due to social distancing measures.

Joint managing director Chris Newenham said: “Our fruit season is running late this year and we are still about five weeks away from the busier part of the season.

“At this point in time we are managing with the workers which already we have on site.”

The farm, which will celebrate 135 years of jam making, grows fruit for preserve-making but also for trade as fresh and frozen fruit in shops.

A statement on its website the company said: “Our fruit harvest will be in full swing from early June, while we are currently concerned about the ability of our usual seasonal workers to travel, we are actively considering options for our furlough colleagues to come and support us in this seasonal effort.

“We appreciate the support of all of our staff in helping us to shape our thinking and to generate practical actions to ensure we can continue to help support the effort of feeding the nation.

“We have seen a significant change in demand for certain products and we are adjusting our production planning accordingly. We will continue to adapt with balanced and appropriate measures.”