DUNKIRK, NY. — Nestlé Purina PetCare celebrated 50 years of manufacturing at its pet food facility in Dunkirk. The facility originally opened in 1972 and continues to provide some of the company’s leading brands, including Purina Pro Plan, Purina ONE, Cat Chow and Dog Chow. The facility is also the only location to produce Busy Bones, DentaLife and Prime Bones treats.
Purina has facilitated several upgrades to the Dunkirk facility over the last 50 years, including its latest $19 million expansion to increase capacity for the company’s Fancy Feast Savory Cravings cat treats. The company also installed advanced LED lighting in 2020, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1,100 tons.
The company marked this milestone with local community leaders and partners and leadership from Purina’s North American headquarters, who gathered to celebrate not only its history of pet food manufacturing but also the people behind the product, including current associates, retired employees and their families.
“It is humbling to be part of a celebration recognizing 50 years of manufacturing excellence by our proud Purina team in Dunkirk, New York,” said Nolan Terry, chief technology officer at Purina. “Our manufacturing associates play a vital role in keeping pets and people together, so this celebration is largely focused on recognizing them — both our current team and those who retired and moved on, as well as their families who together have made countless sacrifices to help ensure that we deliver our quality and trusted products to pets and pet owners who rely on us.”
The celebration was led by Anthony De La O, factory manager at the Dunkirk facility, who was joined by John Bear, former chief technology officer, who was recently succeeded by Nolan Terry upon his retirement, and Jason Christoffersen, vice president of manufacturing at Purina.
Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas was also in attendance, alongside Andy Goodell, New York state assemblyman; Richard Purol, supervisor at the Town of Dunkirk; State Senator George Borello; and Adam Dolce, executive director of United Way of Northern Chautauqua County.
“It is a true honor to stand alongside so many local community leaders and applaud Purina and its team members for reaching 50 years of operations in our great city,” Rosas said. “Purina is one of the leaders in our region and each day is making western New York a great place to work and live.”
Local animal shelters and community organizations were also in attendance. Chautauqua County Humane Society and Lakeshore Humane Society represent two of Purina’s many shelter partners across the United States that have benefitted from the company’s donations and funding. The Cuyahoga Group, Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County, Rural Ministries, and the Chautauqua County Police Department’s K9 unit were also showcased during the anniversary celebration.
Purina also shared it rededicated the city road leading to the Dunkirk facility during the event, naming it after Greg Bundy, a longtime warehousing and logistics leader at Dunkirk who passed away in early 2021. In his honor, the company hosted a Greg Bundy Memorial Forklift Competition, in which employees across the company’s 14 US facilities gathered to partake in a “warehouse-focused skills competition.” The inaugural competition was held earlier this year, and Purina plans to continue it as an annual tradition.
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