Luton fruit importer SH Pratt plans job cuts

A fruit importer in Bedfordshire plans to axe about 100 jobs from a workforce of 300 in a restructuring.

SH Pratt, based in Luton, has started a 45-day consultation to look at ways of minimising the impact of the change.

Operations director David Bateman said the decision was no reflection on the staff's "excellence over many years".

Sue Hackett, regional officer of the GMB union, said: "This is terrible news for the workers involved and for Luton's economy."

She said the union would seek talks with the company to fully understand the reasons behind the cuts and would do "everything we can" to minimise the job losses.

Mr Bateman said: "We're deeply sorry about the effect this will have and will do everything possible to support all of our people during this difficult time.

"Following the completion of this restructure, our long-term business prospects remain strong.

"We will continue to be one of Luton's leading employers for many years to come."

The company imports bananas, pineapples and other tropical fruit and has a large ripening area that can accommodate nearly 4,000 pallets of goods.

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