The future of a pie and pasty plant in the Midlands is in doubt following a downturn in trade.

Management at the Apetito plant in Dudley has entered into a consultation process with staff. One of the options being considered is a closure of the plant where 80 people work.

The management has indicated that despite heavy investment the plant is not sufficiently profitable. The trend for healthy eating has been cited as the reason for the downturn.

A senior company spokesman commented: "The company is in a very early stage of its consultation period. Clearly, we haven’t reached this position lightly and our immediate concern is for our loyal and hardworking workforce.

"Should closure prove to be unavoidable, we will look to redeploy as many people as possible within the business and work with them to identify employment opportunities across all areas of Apetito."

The Apetito group, with plants across Europe, is a major supplier of frozen dishes to the catering industry.