Caring for Animals and Our People – The Importance of Our Team and Customer Relationships

Nestled in the heart of our operations at C&D lies a profound understanding: our success is not solely measured by the quality of our products, but by the strength of the relationships we cultivate – both within our dedicated teams and with our valued customers.

From our headquarters to every corner of our manufacturing facilities, we recognise the transformative power of teamwork. Our business may be all about caring for animals, but we prioritise caring for our employees and customers just as much.

Working strategically

Cécile Balthazar, financial controller at our Esbjerg factory in Denmark, is one of the many C&D colleagues making it their responsibility to balance the demands of their remit, with an additional focus on team wellbeing and positive customer relationships.

Cécile’s main responsibilities as financial controller involve constant discussions with our production, supply chain, R&D, and quality teams to help us stay ahead of the curve regardless of market conditions, in Denmark or globally. If any unforeseen events affect our industry, the retail sector or the consumer landscape, Cécile’s expertise enables her to adapt, managing both supply chain partners and customer relationships. Cécile also plays a pivotal role in the efficiency of our Danish operations, where she supports various departments with maximising outputs.

Embracing Collaboration

Cécile brings next-generation management thinking to her role at C&D Foods. She believes that focusing on her team’s wellbeing is critical to their commercial performance. She manages a team of six in finance and three in IT, dedicating 50% of her time to talking about her team’s plans for the day or week ahead, and discussing any issues in their work or personal life so that she can support them, motivate them and encourage them to feel confident in their role. Cécile explains: “There are over 300 people working in the Esbjerg factory, 250 of whom work in production. For operations to run seamlessly, communication amongst all the teams is vital, so nurturing a team that interacts well across the business doesn’t just create a pleasant workplace, it also has commercial value. Whether discussions are work-related, or more targeted towards ensuring that each and every employee is feeling content with their general life, they’re so important to our factory’s success.”

As a dynamic manager, Cécile is also keen to boost the team’s proactivity by maximising the potential of autonomation. Balancing the productivity and commercial implications of reducing manual handling, Cécile takes a methodical approach to considering the business case for any new system investment, factoring in the benefits for everyone – customers included.

Building Bonds with Customers

When it comes to nurturing customer relationships, Cécile understands that communication is key. In a constantly changing market, customers remain agile, and Cécile is keen to support them with industry trends and forecast information to help them with strategy and commercial planning.  Whether she is involved in negotiating a price with sales account managers or assisting in costing for potential customers, Cécile recognises the significance of collaboration in driving mutual success. She added: “The industry is very fast-paced, so we need to be as far ahead as possible when it comes to planning, both internally and with customers. By communicating constantly and maintaining these relationships, we stand the best chance of being prepared for anything that may affect the way we work.”

Paving the Way to Excellence

Cécile is just one example of the people on our team who are both supporting our success as a thriving, industry-leading pet food manufacturing, and building on our reputation as a caring employer and customer-focused partner. By prioritising teamwork, customer engagement, and strategic foresight, she embodies our company ethos of excellence and innovation.