UK ethnic foods manufacturer S&A Foods is to cut around 70 jobs as part of a restructuring of its chilled ready meals business.

The move, which will be phased over several months, is expected to result in the loss of up to 70 jobs from the firm’s 500-strong Derby-based workforce. The company said it is proposing to introduce new shift patterns as part of the reorganisation, which will be discussed as part of a consultation with staff and representatives.

S&A foods managing director Des Kingsley said that, whilst regrettable, the restructure would enable the business to remain “competitive and sustainable” in an increasingly challenging trading environment.

“After a detailed review, we have taken the difficult decision to restructure the business in order to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. We will do our utmost to support those people who will be affected by this announcement, including helping them to find alternative employment,” he said.

The company said it anticipates a number of job losses will come through voluntary redundancy.

“All S&A Foods’ customers have been notified about the restructure and are understanding of the company’s decision,” S&A Foods said.