Nigel’s Experience Keeps Production Moving and Operatives Safe at C and D Foods’ Driffield Plant

Shift Manager, Nigel Ibbotson, joined C&D Foods as an agency worker on the production line at our Driffield factory 15 years ago. He’s now been responsible for Yellow Shift at the site for the past five years and, during the COVID-19 outbreak, he’s playing a vital role in safeguarding our team and keeping the nation’s pets fed.

“It might sound like a cliché,” says Nigel, “but I love coming to work. I work with a lovely bunch of people who all support each other, both in getting the job done and on a more personal level. In these challenging times, that’s more important than ever and I’ve been really impressed at how everyone has adjusted to the safe operating procedures we’ve put in place with such a positive attitude.”

Working 12-hour shifts on a rotating days and nights rota, Nigel is responsible for all the factory floor operatives on Yellow Shift, the smooth running of the equipment and the efficient output of the Driffield production plant, aligned to customer orders.

“We make dry pet food at C&D’s Driffield plant,” Nigel continues. “We manufacture for all the big five supermarkets along with some well-known pet food brands, so the nation’s cats and dogs really do rely on us to get tasty, nutritious food to their bowls. I have to ensure that each of our production lines is running efficiently and that orders get out on time, while meeting our quality commitments.”

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Nigel’s responsibilities have increased to include implementation of safe operating procedures, put in place by C&D Foods’ leadership team to ensure staff remain safe while production levels are maintained.

Nigel explains: “At the start of every shift, I take the temperature of every member of the shift team as they arrive for work, check that they have washed their hands and make sure they are wearing the correct PPE before they start work. With many of our senior managers working from home as much as possible at the moment, in line with Government guidance, I am also stepping in to assist in other areas, including the warehouse and engineering. It’s all about making sure production is maintained and we get products to store and to pets when and where they’re needed.”

The additional responsibilities haven’t fazed Nigel. With 15 years’ experience at the Driffield site, he’s both familiar with every aspect of the facility’s operations and well-respected by the team.

“I cannot praise the team enough,” Nigel adds. “Wearing PPE and working two metres apart isn’t easy but it’s testament to the can-do approach across the team that everyone has pulled together to make it work. It means I can go home at the end of a long shift confident that I’ve achieved something positive and looked after my colleagues. I can give my own dogs a cuddle knowing that I’ve helped to make sure there’ll be food on the supermarket shelves for everyone else’s pets the next day, and that’s a good feeling.”