Migrants backed over sandwiches

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Published: Wednesday 12th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Migrant workers can make as good or better sandwiches than their UK counterparts, according to the Earl of Sandwich.

The descendant of the man said to have popularised the snack said he was concerned about the quality of the sandwich “going down”, although he insisted overseas staff were up to the task.

Food manufacturer Greencore Group is reportedly looking to recruit staff from Hungary for a new £35 million factory due to open in Northampton, as few people living in the area have applied for jobs.

Sir Michael Darrington, a former chief executive of Greggs, said it seemed a “bit of a nonsense” for the firm to be considering hiring staff from abroad when the factory will not open until 2016.

But the Earl of Sandwich, who is also a director of a sandwich-making firm, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Obviously I am concerned at the quality of the sandwich going down but there’s no reason a migrant labourer can’t make as good or a better sandwich.

“The problem I think comes in regulation where you have supply chains and you don’t always know what’s further back in the supply chain.”

He said the best sandwich is either “beef or chicken, not too complicated and it could be a hot sandwich”.

The crossbench peer is the 11th Earl of Sandwich. John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, is regarded as the man who popularised the sandwich.

It is said the idea of putting meat between two slices of bread emerged while he was playing a card game.

Sir Michael told the same programme he did not believe people needed to be recruited from abroad, adding: “There are pockets – central London and London is a little bit of a different market, but apart from that I don’t think it’s a very big issue.

“On the migrant issue, I’ve got to say I have a vested interest as my paternal grandfather came from Hungary – so I’ve got nothing against migrants. I don’t think, however, we need to be recruiting migrants in Hungary for this sandwich factory that’s not opening until 2016.

“It seems to be a bit of a – I won’t say storm in a teacup – how many people in Northampton are going to say ‘look, I want a job in 2016’? They want a job now or they’ll look at it when they get to 2016 so it does seem to be a bit of a nonsense.”

Published: Wednesday 12th November 2014 by The News Editor

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