David Leslie Fruits fined for using unlicensed gangmaster to supply workers

A soft fruit producer from Scotland has become the first labour user to be prosecuted by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) for using an unlicensed gangmaster.

David Leslie Fruits of Scones of Lethendy, Perth, was sentenced to pay a fine of £500 last week after pleading guilty to the charge at Perth Sheriff Court.

The prosecution resulted from a GLA investigation which uncovered that an unlicensed business in Bulgaria had supplied 250 workers to pick strawberries at the farm in the summer of 2008. All the workers left the farm after the GLA's action, with most returning to Bulgaria.

The GLA investigation was conducted with Tayside Police and other Government enforcement agencies.

David Leslie Fruits is the first labour user to be prosecuted under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004. GLA chairman Paul Whitehouse said: "David Leslie Fruits has paid the price for using an illegal gangmaster."

He added: "This prosecution sends a warning to all farmers who are tempted to use unlicensed labour providers, whether they are in this country or abroad. It's not worth the risk. Anyone can find a licensed gangmaster on our website [www.gla.gov.uk]."

The gangmaster involved in this case subsequently applied for and was refused a GLA licence.

 

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