"I'm really proud of what I've achieved. I'm saving money and looking forward to the future."
Vita's son was 5 years old when she left him behind in her native Latvia to come and find work in the UK.
"The situation in Latvia is very bad. It's very hard to get a job there, so I knew I had to leave. My mother had recently passed away so I left my son with his grandparents and travelled to England.
"It was very hard for me being away from home at first, and I was really homesick. But I got some temporary work through an agency, at a strawberry farm in Kent.
"Being busy at least helped take my mind of things. I used to get up at 3 am and listen to the radio, then start work at 5am. I was able to start sending money home for my son."
It was hard, dirty work. I had to lift a lot of heavy boxes and there was a lot of shouting. You could hear supervisors shouting ‘faster, faster!'
"It was hard, dirty work at that place. I had to lift a lot of heavy boxes and there was a lot of shouting. You could hear supervisors shouting ‘faster, faster!'
"I don't like it when people shout at me. If someone shouts at you, you can't work. I felt like telling them to stick their job but I couldn't say anything as I needed the work. It's depressing to be in that kind of situation."
Vita's job ended after a few months. She got another job with a different agency, working nights in a tomato packing factory. When that job ended she found another one in a greenhouse, picking peppers.
Eventually Vita found work through a different agency at a salad supplier in Kent.
"The agency who found me this job are very good, they are always honest with you and tell you whether there is any work or not. It's better than the ones I've been to before.
"I was very happy to find this job. I like the work here. They don't shout, they show you how to do your job in a friendly way.
"I've been told I'm a good worker and that I should apply for a permanent job. I hope I can get that, as I'm not always given enough hours to work in the week."
Two years on, Vita now lives in Margate with her son, who she was able to bring to live with her over a year ago.
"I am so happy to have my son with me now", she says.
"When I first came here I felt very closed up, and ashamed. But I've opened my heart up now.
"In Latvia the weather is bad and nobody smiles at you when you walk down the street. Here, everyone smiles and is polite. The weather's nice and all the trees and flowers grow really quickly.
"I want to stay in England - I like English people and have found English friends.
I'm really proud of what I've achieved. I'm saving money and looking forward to the future.
"I'm really proud of what I've achieved. I came to the UK with nothing. But now I have my son with me, I've found a school and a child minder for him, I've found somewhere for us to live, I've got a car and a computer, everything I need. I'm saving money and looking forward to the future.
"I've proved I can do anything."
Improving conditions for agency workers in the UK agricultural sector
The UK food industry depends on having access to a pool of temporary labour to help it to manage seasonal peaks in production, and this has intensified with the demands of 24-hour retailing.
In 2004, ETI led an industry-wide alliance that lobbied the government to introduce licensing for temporary labour providers, or ‘gangmasters'. Since the subsequent establishment of the Gangmaster Licensing Authority (GLA), much of the worst forms of exploitation that typified the sector have been eradicated. However, there is evidence that rogue operators have moved on to other sectors that lie beyond the reach of the Gangmaster Licensing Authority.The UK food industry depends on having access to a pool of temporary labour to help it to manage seasonal peaks in production, and this has intensified with the demands of 24-hour retailing.
ETI supports calls from Oxfam and others to extend the remit of the GLA beyond agriculture.