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Melanie Jackson celebrates 30 years at Soanes

Employee marks 30 years with East Yorkshire poultry business

A dedicated employee at a specialist poultry business in Middleton-on-the-Wolds will celebrate 30 years of service this July.

Melanie Jackson began her career at T.Soanes & Son aged 17 in 1987 when she asked her sister to help her find short term work.

What was supposed to be a temporary job for Melanie, while she was waiting to go into the army, turned out to be the start of a 30-year-long career at T.Soanes & Son, a company that celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.

Melanie, who lives in Driffield, now oversees three roles at the poultry supplying business: live programme manager and health and safety and senior animal welfare officer. She said she feels blessed to work with a tight-knit and friendly team.

"I'd like to thank everyone at Soanes for making my 30 years here worthwhile and rewarding. I've worked across all departments and have seen the business grow, expand and become more and more professional," Melanie added.

"It doesn't feel like 30 years have passed because I have had several job changes so for that reason it has been like starting a new job each time. We are a unique family business and that carries through to everyone here - I call the team my extended family."

Melanie spent four years as a line process worker before moving onto several supervisor roles and then becoming head supervisor in the factory.

She then took on a role as technical manager, during which time she delivered the SALSA accreditation for the business and wrote the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) policy for T.Soanes & Son.

Although T.Soanes & Son is still owned by the Soanes family, the business is now under the general management of Nigel Upson who was appointed in 2012. Speaking about Melanie's long service, he said: "Dedicated staff members like Melanie are an increasing rarity nowadays and I speak for everyone when I say she is a credit to the company and we are so pleased to be celebrating her 30 years here at Soanes."

As live programme manager, Melanie plans and orchestrates the movements of the live birds that arrive on site to the highest welfare and bio-security standards. Her other responsibilities involve interacting with staff across departments to make sure that work practices are safe and staff health issues are dealt with. She is also tasked with maintaining the business' Red Tractor certification.

T Soanes & Son rears more than five million chickens per annum on its Yorkshire Wolds farms and supplies wholesalers, butchers, farm shops and independent retailers throughout the UK.

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