This paper seeks to understand the current correlation between ongoing technological changes in the Dutch agricultural sector and effects that these changes have on CEE migrants’ working and living conditions. Considering the continuous development and impact of agricultural technology, especially its often-times inconceivable evolution, this research is timely and highly relevant. Furthermore, this paper also contributes to the more general discussion on the impact that new technologies have on workers. The findings of this research indicate that the biggest concerns for CEE migrant workers remain the lack of decent housing conditions and their ill treatment, most commonly - unfair salary deductions and excessive work. When it comes to the effects of technological changes, workers have primarily been affected by technological improvements in energy efficiency that enabled shifting of outdoor crop cultivation into greenhouses which led to longer growing seasons. Season extensions, coupled with the growers’ need to scale up production, substantially increased work intensity and imposed additional pressures on CEE migrants.

Siegmann, Karin Astrid
Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies (AFES)
International Institute of Social Studies

Ivosevic, Petar. (2018, December 17). Treating people as robots : The effects of technological changes in the Dutch agro-food sector on Central and Eastern European migrant workers. Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies (AFES). Retrieved from