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Pratt Group rewards worker with Costa Rica trip

12 October 2017

Dedicated employee David Whitlock is marking 50 years working for fruit importer, ripener and distributor SH Pratt Group and has been rewarded with the trip of a life time – to Costa Rica.

David, 68, began work with the family-run firm when it was based in Amersham and has transferred to new company bases as the business has grown and developed and now works for the logistics arm, Kinship Logistics, based in Luton.

Company bosses have treated him to a 10-day long trip to Costa Rica to see where and how the bananas they specialise in importing and ripening are cultivated and apart from the holidays to Europe it is the furthest David has ever travelled.

He said: “ I started with the SH Pratt Group when they were based at Kings Langley and was lucky enough to be taken with them when they expanded and moved to Hemel Hempstead in 1967, and once again 30 years later when they moved t where we are now  in Luton.

“I have always been involved with the transport and logistics side of the business and it has been an honour and a pleasure to have spent my career with the SH Pratt Group.

“In this day and age there are not many people who are fortunate enough to be able to say they have spent their whole working life with one firm. I am fortunate that I have been able to make the moves with the company, but it is a brilliant firm to work for.

“Although it has grown and expanded since I started SH Pratt Group has remained a family firm and you are part of that working family. It has been very enjoyable working  first for the company founder  Bob Wells, and now for his son, Robert.

“The organisation has never become faceless and you know that you can go to the directors and talk to them and that really does make all the difference.”

David, who lives in Dunstable, found out about his long-service reward at the annual staff celebration in January – and the news was well received by his colleagues who were delighted for him.

David added:  “All the staff were at our annual function at the MK Dons stadium and Robert Wells stood up and made a speech about my time with the firm and saying that to celebrate they would be taking me to Costa Rica to see the growers and how and where the bananas are grown.

“Apart from the usual trips to Europe and work related to trip to Morocco, it is the furthest I have ever travelled and it is a  great opportunity to travel with my colleagues who already know the area to learn all about the product I have spent  50 years of my life working with!”

David Bateman, managing director of the SH Pratt Group, said the company was delighted David had clocked up such a milestone. 

“Fifty years with a company is certainly and achievement and David is a valued member of our team.

We all felt it was right that his dedication was rewarded and our chairman, Robert, was delighted to be able to speak so highly of David to the other employees.

“The trip to Costa Rica seemed like a fitting celebration to recognise David’s dedication to the group and I know he has spent the last few months looking forward to his trip.

“He knew he would be well looked after by our hosts in Costa Rica and also by his colleagues Joao Barata, head of procurement and Fernanda Guajardo, procurement assistant, who escorted him on the trip.

“David has been a loyal and dedicated employee and we are proud to have him on our team.”

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