PetQuip Awards Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 Introductory speech by Amanda Sizer Barrett, MBE director general of PetQuip
The winner of this year’s PetQuip Lifetime Achievement Award is the owner of a family business founded in 1926 by his grandfather as boarding kennels, a farm was acquired and the business expanded again into breeding farm livestock.
Our award winner, the founder’s grandson, helped out on the farm from an early ageand on the day he passed his driving test he was sent by his father to work at the kennels.
In 1963 the business launched one of the first dog insurance companies in the UK to cover puppies sold from the kennels. Over many years the business also raised significant amounts for Guide Dogs for the Blind and Guide Dogs for the Deaf.
In 1972 our winner started a pet wholesale business with a business partner, delivering pet products in the local area, working from a rented hangar at an aerodrome; they would go out taking orders one day and pick and deliver the following day. They mixed their own bird seed on the floor of the hangar with a shovel and spade and packed peanuts in nets at home.
The following year a 4,000 square foot warehouse was built at the back of the kennels site and they took on their first member of staff. The company’s philosophy was the desire to be the best wholesaler, providing the best service, built on the best reputation in the pet trade.
In 1981, after a successful career at the farm, our winner’s brother came in to manage the kennels and insurance company in order to allow him to focus on growing the wholesale side of the business.
In 1982 the first Cash & Carry warehouse was opened and also launched was Pet Products International (PPI), one of the first companies to import rawhide dog chews into the UK. 1983 saw the acquisition of a bird seed manufacturing plant; and in 1984 sole UK distribution rights were acquired for Hikari branded ornamental fish food.
1988 saw the acquisition of Clover Pet Foods; and a large wholesaler based near Bristol was the next acquisition. In 2001 the company invested in a 16,000 square foot warehouse to serve customers in the South. The next year began the construction of a 22,000 square foot purpose built warehouse; at £1.5m, a significant investment in the future of the business.
In 1997 our winner’s son joined the business and worked alongside him until his retirement in 2007, although our award winner remains company chairman and takesan active interest in the business and the pet trade. He is widely viewed as being very generous, straightforward and fair to the employees that were loyal to him as the business has grown. This, together with his respect for both suppliers and customers built over many years of doing business, has earned him the high reputation that he holds within the industry today, as building one of the UK’s largest wholesalers in the independent pet and aquatic trade.
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m delighted to announce that our 2017 PetQuip Lifetime Achievement Award winner is the founder of Pedigree Wholesale Ltd ..…..