Over the last 30 years, the Birstall site has produced 40,000 tonnes of pet food products and provided jobs for multiple employees. Between them, mother and daughter duo, Bernadette and Georgie Sutton, have more than 35 years’ experience working at the factory site.
Bernadette, a Senior Project Manager at Birstall, has been a loyal employee for over 30 years and is one of the longest standing members of staff at Birstall. She’s had a range of roles over the last 30 years, starting out as a typist and quickly moving up the ranks to the marketing team.
She said: “It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come since I began working at the factory. We used to have basic equipment and would be limited to speaking with the people based in our office. Now we can interact with Mars Associates all over the world, helping us to feel even more like a global family.
“But we’re also a proper Yorkshire site and are very much part and parcel of the community – hiring local graduates and getting out and about to volunteer. We even helped a local primary school transform its outdoor space with new equipment and herb and vegetable planters. I think we really do make a positive impact.”
With Bernadette’s daughter Georgie also taking up a role at Birstall, the site has had a significant impact on the Sutton family over the years. Graduating from York St. John University in 2014, Georgie was keen to find a home for her talents and decided to apply for a position at the site having completed work experience there while just 15 years old.
Now a European Design Coordinator, she said: “Given that my mum has worked here for such a long time, Birstall seemed like a natural fit. The factory is like my second home, and we are all one big family!”