Worker reckons she’s packed more than five million kilos of veg in last 40 years

HARD WORKER: Sue Betts has clocked up 40 years of service.
HARD WORKER: Sue Betts has clocked up 40 years of service.

Sue Betts could be forgiven for not wanting to eat her greens after packing more than five million kilos of veg over the last 40 years!

But far from being sick of the sight of veg, Sue says she thoroughly enjoys her work with Boston food firm Freshtime.

She started in 1973 as a pack house worker at Elgro (which subsequently became Freshtime), wrapping cauliflowers, broccoli, leeks and onions.

Working conditions were very different back then though, as eating sweets and smoking on the production lines was allowed.

Packing was done by piecework and Sue’s first weekly pay packet added up to £12.

“I was 17 when I first worked at Elgro and I remember that the three older ladies I worked with were very excited to have me as I was keen and fast and the money we made was shared amongst us all,” said Sue. “I’ve met some very nice people working here and as a company Freshtime has been very nice to me. On my very first day I met a lady who is still my best friend to this day and I’ve got many happy memories of my time here.”

The packhouse at Rochford Tower Lane moved to Kirton and Elgro remained there until it moved to the present site on Marsh Lane in the 1990s.

“Freshtime has been a big part of my life,” Sue added. “I’ve made many friends here and I’m still making new friends today.

“I’ve got a few years left before I retire so I hope I’ll be working here atFreshtime for a few more years yet!”

Joanna Campling, head of HR at Freshtime, said: “Dedicating 40 years of your life to one company is a fantastic achievement and we’re all very proud to have Sue still working with us after all these years. To mark her long service record and show our appreciation for all her hard work over the years we were only too pleased to treat Sue to a luxury weekend away and pay for a meal for her family and friends.”

Sue enjoyed a weekend hotel stay in Lincoln and a celebratory dinner at the White Hart Hotel in Boston. She attended the dinner with seven colleagues who between them have clocked up 132 years of service with the company.