Trevor West, trading director for Mars UK Petcare and Food, is retiring next week from Mars UK after a 31-year career spanning petfood, confectionery and wholesale trading.

He joined Mars' Pedigree Pet Foods division in 1977 after graduating in modern languages from Oxford University. He quickly rose through the ranks, first as regional sales manager and then as NAM, handling the group's relationships with multiples such as Asda, Waitrose and Morrisons. He then moved into various senior roles in trade marketing and sales training before taking up his current position.

West told The Grocer that after graduating the "last thing I expected was to be selling dogfood". One of his proudest achievements at Mars UK was in 1993 when he scooped first prize in the company's European Sales Achievement Awards, which landed him a six-week sabbatical in Australia.

He was also an advocate of greater collaboration between retailers, suppliers and wholesalers to offer a better service to customers.

"Consumers are looking for the right products to be available at a reasonable price, backed up by friendly, efficient service. Retailers, wholesalers and suppliers should be working together, harnessing each others strengths, to deliver against this," he said.

West has represented Mars UK at the ACS's Premier Club, which aims to brings together leading suppliers in the c-store sector. He has also taken an active role in the Federation of Wholesale Distributors' My Shop is Your Shop campaign.

West is now planning to work three days a week as a recruitment consultant for Ashwood Associates in Bracknell, Berkshire.

He will be replaced at Mars UK by Wayne Tessier, who is currently a trading director in the group's multiples division.