Staughton Group are feeding your best friends

Staughton Group, based just up the road in Howlong, have multiple pet brands within their operation, creating dry pet food, meaty treats, and supplying local and overseas manufacturers with meat products.

In fact, to give you some sense of scale, there are about 35 frozen shipping containers, each one 40 foot long, departing every week bound for the US. And that's just to supply US manufacturers with frozen meat products to use as ingredients.

They are also Australia's largest domestic raw pet food ingredient supplier. They have the largest thermal drying facility for pet treats in the southern hemisphere, and they also process two thirds of Australia's pigs ears into dog chews, for example.

Edward Staughton: Staughton Group have multiple pet brands creating dry pet food, meaty treats, and they supply many other manufacturers. Photos: Supplied.

Edward Staughton: Staughton Group have multiple pet brands creating dry pet food, meaty treats, and they supply many other manufacturers. Photos: Supplied.

Well beyond that, their own manufacturing plant is running 24/7 and supplies many retailers in Australia as well as exporting to ten countries across Asia, Europe and America.

The brands you may have seen include Aussie Pet Health, Balanced Life, and Vets all Natural. Cool Off supplies raw meat products to other businesses, while Dried and True produce finished pet food, treats and dog rolls. So the scale of the operation is impressive, but more importantly for local employment, the group is still expanding.

A federal government Building Better Regions grant of $6m jointly received by the group and the local council allowed Staughton Group to invest in significant new capacity on the site over the last three years. The business has continued on this trajectory and is commissioning numerous new production lines in the middle of this year, and that means more job opportunities as well.

Managing director Edward Staughton said that they currently employ around 400 people, and across manufacturing and admin they'll need around another 130 people over the next 12 months.

A significant portion of that will be 100 more people for manufacturing, and they need everyone from shift supervisors to machinery operators to forklift drivers when the additional capacity comes online mid-year.

In terms of career progression, Edward points out the expanding nature of the business means that new opportunities keep coming up throughout the hierarchy and throughout the business, so people who already have their foot in the door and are gaining experience at the entry levels don't have to wait for someone to retire or leave before the possibility of promotion for the right candidates comes along.

Growing: A federal government Building Better Regions grant of $6m is helping increase capacity at the Howlong plant, with 130 more people needed across the business.

Growing: A federal government Building Better Regions grant of $6m is helping increase capacity at the Howlong plant, with 130 more people needed across the business.

Adding capacity with federal support also indicates long-term job security, and as Edward pointed out, with so many of the millions of people now able to work from home having gotten a new pet to keep them company, the demand for healthy Australian made pet products has also increased.

The different jobs within Staughton Group also offer flexibility where they can. Their admin and office workers enjoy the possibility of flexible hours, the ability to work from home where needed, and a very pet-friendly workplace. Edward even noted the two puppies he encountered playing in the hall. "You wouldn't find that in many workplaces," he said with a smile.

The majority of the manufacturing facility works on eight hour shifts, day, afternoon and night, however one area of the plant has a four day on, four day off roster with 10 hour shifts, which some people find quite beneficial to their family life or lifestyle.

Howlong is only 25 minutes up the road from places like Albury, Wodonga, Rutherglen, and Corowa, with no real traffic to speak of. So what are you waiting for?

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