Eville & Jones, Europe’s largest independent provider of official veterinary inspection services for meat production premises, has appointed experienced HR and change management authority, Sophie Willis, as Director of People.

Sophie will develop and lead an ambitious range of employee engagement schemes and personal development programmes including enriched learning and development, performance management, reward and recognition and career pathways. These will play an important role in supporting the company’s rapidly expanding workforce as it continues to meet increased demand resulting from a post Brexit regime of health checks and export documentation for export to the EU.

Sophie will also play a key role in enabling Eville & Jones to deliver against its five-year international expansion strategy.  This will see further diversification in the services provided to customers together with a broadening of the territories it operates in. Recently, Eville & Jones entered agricultural research, assembling an experienced scientific team to run nationwide veterinary trials of a potentially game changing vaccination.  It is hoped this vaccination will help eradicate bovine TB by immunising cattle against the disease.

Welcoming Sophie to the business, Eville & Jones’ Chief Executive Officer, Charles Hartwell, said: “This appointment further strengthens our senior leadership team and demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement across the business. Sophie’s experience will play a vital role in meeting the increased demand from our customers. We recognise our employees are the cornerstone of our business. As such, there are clear benefits in ensuring we do everything possible to support them in their current roles and career progression.  This increasingly structured approach to our people strategy will provide a solid foundation from which to continue the diversification and growth of our business.”

“I am thrilled to have joined E&J on its five-year journey of transformation and am also excited by the opportunity to work with such a major player in the protection of animal welfare and public health,” added Willis. “I am passionate about moving towards a more proactive and strategic approach that ensures our people remain at the heart of the business while adopting more innovative working practices including the digitisation of the back-office to realise enhanced efficiencies.

Arriving from EMIS Health, Sophie brings a wealth of experience to Eville & Jones having spent 18 years working in HR for major organisations including KPMG, Barclaycard, Publicis.Sapient and Gordon Ramsay Holdings.