£2million investment in CAMA line automation by Mackle Petfoods to meet global demand for Naturo

Head of Engineering Gareth Rodgers, on why company culture of innovation and empowerment means working there ‘an engineer’s dream.’

Mackle Pet Foods, owners of the premium range Naturo which includes Chef’s Selection, and popular brands Brandy and Cat Club, has invested £2m in new state of the art packing equipment to support the increase in popularity of its Naturo pet food brand.  The County Tyrone family business established over 4 decades ago, which has its main site in Moy, has seen demand for its Naturo range increase by over 41% in the last year, resulting in the investment at its sister site at Moygashel.

Operating four daily shifts at its Moygashel plant, where product had to be packed, sealed and wrapped by hand, prompted Mackle Petfoods decision to move to an automated solution which could accommodate recyclable plastic trays and quadruple production levels. The company which exports to 16 countries globally and supplies to well-known retailers in Ireland including Dunnes and Tesco, began the purchase and installation of a new CAMA line packaging system late last year.

Head of Engineering, Gareth Rodgers explained, “This investment represents the culture of innovation and appetite for growth in Mackle Petfoods.  I joined the company 18 months ago and straight away was handed the task of working closely with the CAMA engineering team on the machinery build and specification, delivery and installation.  The senior management team had already spent significant time researching the production line and vendor they wanted, and it was up to me to make it work, as quickly and as efficiently as possible.  While we’re not the only NI manufacturer to operate a CAMA line, it’s a very rare thing for a family business to do so.  The culture of constant innovation and improvement throughout the company comes right down from the Managing Director, John Mackle.

“Having the new line has obviously made a huge difference to Mackle Petfoods’ production capacity, and as an employee, I felt completely supported and trusted in what I was doing to get the line up and running.  Prior to joining the company I worked in the tobacco industry for several years where I’d moved into a management role, but my heart lies in engineering.

“I now have full control and responsibility for large scale engineering projects.  My first project was the CAMA installation; after that I built an extension to the chilling facilities and changed the water distribution systems.  I can’t imagine working anywhere else that has the change and growth potential of this company.  The people are great, the work is fast paced and constantly changing and that’s matched with a drive and determination to grow.  Working here I will always be kept busy and there are constantly great projects in the pipeline.   It’s an Engineer’s dream, really.”


For engineering, maintenance and operational career opportunities at Mackle Petfoods visit www.macklepetfoods.com/careers


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