In celebration of International Women’s Day, we would like to showcase some of the successful women who work here at Eville & Jones.

The success of our people matters to us, and we fully embrace equity in the workplace; we invest in each individual’s career development. Whether working in a central support or a plant-based inspection role, we pride ourselves on being able to offer long and rewarding careers. 

We also regularly promote from within. Here, we profile some of our female colleagues undertaking diverse and essential roles to maintain the highest animal welfare standards and safeguard the public by ensuring food is safe to eat.

Junia Grapiglia, Operations Manager

Junia joined the business in July 2020 as a Meat Hygiene Inspector (MHI) after working as a clinical veterinarian in her home country of Brazil. 

No longer responsible for technical compliance, post-mortem inspection, and verification activities within a single plant, Junia was first promoted to Area Resources Manager and has now taken the helm as Operations Manager across South West England, managing a team of Official Veterinarians, MHIs and Plant Inspection Assistants (PIAs) providing official control services under the Food Safety Agency contract.

Junia’s new role improves the service we deliver in each plant by supporting and guiding our colleagues while developing relationships with local FSA contacts and Food Business Operators. Her responsibilities extend to measuring, reporting and action against plant performance targets. In addition, to upholding our core values to instil teamwork, inclusion and a family atmosphere amongst the team.

Sara Basto, acting as Technical Manager

Before joining Eville & Jones in 2018, Sara worked on aquaculture research in her home country of Portugal.

Starting as a Meat Hygiene Inspector (MHI) based at Pickstock, a high throughput cattle plant in Telford, She is now acting as Technical Manager for WW3. This new role involves performing technical plant visits, working on high-profile animal welfare cases, training and mentoring Official Veterinarians and solving technical problems.

Sara is also supporting the Learning & Developing team, providing technical guidance to new Official Veterinarians joining the company and is currently revising our NOV programme.

We asked Sara what she likes best about being a Technical Manager, “I thoroughly enjoy training people and acquiring more knowledge myself. I have always been passionate about teaching, so I enjoy the plant visits, providing meaningful feedback, and further training to colleagues.”

In the future, Sara would love to see her career at Eville & Jones develop in a full-time technical teaching role.

Ester Benguerel, Food Safety & Animal Welfare National Technical Lead

Ester joined Eville & Jones in 2000 as an Official Veterinarian (OV) before moving to Lead Veterinarian and then Area Veterinary Manager for the North of England, successfully managing a large team of OVs and Meat Hygiene Inspectors within abattoirs.

She has now taken up the newly created role of National Technical Lead for Food Safety & Animal Welfare. As National Technical Lead, Ester oversees the technical managers to deliver the highest technical standards of service delivery through a team of public health veterinary professionals.

In addition, she will reinforce Eville & Jones’ position as a leader within veterinary public health and an authoritative voice within the food sector. By representing the combined interests of customers and veterinary professionals, she advocates changes in legislation and regulatory guidance to maintain UK veterinary public health as effective, efficient, and relevant to all stakeholders.

Katie Black, Management Accountant

Katie joined Eville & Jones in 2021 as Management Accountant, previously holding several positions as Finance Manager, most recently for a manufacturing business. She now has several key responsibilities at E&J, providing management accounts and insight to the Board and internal stakeholders.

We want to celebrate Katie’s outstanding contribution to the company on International Women’s Day. She does a fantastic job and recently led the development of a new utilisation tool that the business embraces and brings significantly greater insight into one of our business-critical KPIs.   She is a real asset to the team.


Sophie Willis, Director of People says: “Investing in our people is a priority. Sara, Ester, Katie and Junia are perfect examples of what our female colleagues can achieve at Eville and Jones. We understand the importance of treating people as individuals and developing career paths which are diverse, equitable and inclusive.”

Charles Hartwell, CEO, said:Traditionally, the meat industry is heavily male-biased, which is why I am incredibly proud that E&J employs more women than men. Deciding who to celebrate on International Women’s Day has been incredibly difficult with so much talent within our business, and it is my pleasure to celebrate these #heroes today and every day.”