Meet the team behind Yorkshire’s petfood powerhouse

Sarah Sordy of Mars Petcare in Birstall
Sarah Sordy of Mars Petcare in Birstall
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WHEN Mars Petcare opened its factory in Birstall, West Yorkshire, 30 years ago, the Bee Gees were top of the charts with ‘You Win Again’ and Britain was still reeling from the impact of a deadly hurricane.

Since then, the site has become a powerhouse of the pet food sector, as the company moved with the times to keep up with an increasingly sophisticated and competitive market.

Two years ago, Mars Petcare announced that Birstall was to become the location for its Care and Treats Global Innovation Centre, which was a powerful endorsement of the skilled workforce. The Yorkshire factory is also the birthplace of the company’s Pedigree Dentastix product, which is kind to your pet’s teeth.

Birstall has produced four billion Pedigree Dentastix since it launched in 2002, which the company estimates is enough to reach to and around the moon.

Sarah Sordy, the operations manager at the Birstall plant, said: “Mars Petcare associates at Birstall have been celebrating our 30th birthday all year.

“We’ve eaten a 1980s style lunch together, taken part in a sports day, volunteered in local schools and eaten lots of retro themed birthday cake.

Ms Sordy added: “The reason we’re celebrating is to say thank you to all our associates - that’s what we call our employees - who’ve worked so hard over the years to make Birstall a leader in pet care manufacturing, and at the very top of its game 30 years later.”

The site, which employs around 300 people, became pet friendly in 2009. Ms Sordy added: “Pets are at the heart of our business and every one of us here at Birstall is mad about pets, particularly those in the office every day.”

Mars Petcare’s portfolio of petcare brands includes household names such as Pedigree and Whiskas.