Agriculture

Big machine firm misses chance to 'educate' at county show

The cancellation of the Suffolk Show has seen scores of businesses lose a chance to exhibit to tens of thousands of people.

The BBC spoke to one business which is usually at the two-day event, which had been due to take place on the edge of Ipswich today and tomorrow.

Big machine manufacturer Claas, which has a UK base near Bury St Edmunds, says as well as sales, it uses the show to educate.

As part of BBC East's "virtual" Suffolk Show, we've made a film with the firm:

'Why a county show means so much to me'

One of the region's largest county shows was due to take place today and tomorrow - and in this sunshine would probably have attracted about 100,000 people.

The Suffolk Show on the edge of Ipswich is one of many events to have fallen victim to the coronavirus lockdown.

BBC Radio Suffolk is helping create a "virtual" show to make up for it.

BBC Look East will be making up for the loss of the event with special coverage at 18:30 on BBC One tonight, and here's a quick taster:

Suffolk Show: 'Why annual county showpiece means so much to me'
Robot dog tries to herd sheep
The Spot robot was designed for search and rescue - but may find work in the farming industry.

Coffey urges unemployed to pick fruit and veg

MP Therese Coffey said people who have lost their jobs in the coronavirus crisis could find roles in the agricultural sector this summer.

Fruit picker
PA Media

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the UK soared last month, the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown.

The Suffolk Coastal MP and Work and Pensions Secretary told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think we should be prepared for the unemployment rate to increase significantly."

But, after insisting "there are a substantial number of vacancies already", she was pressed on where the vacant roles are.

"There's an aspect of retail," she said. "There are quite a lot of vacancies or employment wanted in our agricultural sector to help in our near future.

"Those very much need to be filled as well."