Inspired Pet Nutrition (IPN) – formerly known as Wagg Foods – the UK’s largest independent producer of dried pet food, has renewed its contract with Pooling Partners, Europe’s leading pooler and producer of sustainable wooden pallets, as part of a major business expansion and brand awareness initiative that includes major television sponsorship.
IPN, which owns market-leading dog food brands Wagg and Harringtons, opened its new 100,000 sq ft distribution centre (DC) near to its existing facilities at Dalton Airfield, North Yorkshire, in 2016 after investing £7 million developing a fully-automated site which currently has the capacity to store around 11,500 pallets, with room to add a further 5,000 spaces if required.
Using a technique called ‘one shot loading’, full pallets are automatically loaded on to a specially commissioned truck which delivers them to the new DC, where they are automatically unloaded, racked and sorted into individual units ready for order picking.
The investment is in addition to the £20 million the business has spent over the past five years on automating production in its other two existing mills, which are also on Dalton Airfield. A further £3 million is scheduled to be spent on these mills over the next two years.
The new contract with Pooling Partners provides continuity at a time of great change for IPN as well as a working partnership to help drive further efficiencies.
“Our aim remains the production of the highest quality pet food products at a competitive price through constant improvement in manufacturing processes and product innovation,” said Richard Page, Inspired Pet Nutrition’s managing director. “This investment will further increase efficiency, as the new site significantly boosts our stock holding capacity so longer production runs are possible. Therefore equipment downtime associated with changing over product lines is reduced along with the associated packaging waste.”
Harringtons has recently sponsored The Yorkshire Vet series and is embarking on its largest ever media campaign to increase brand awareness. This includes programme sponsorship of Ben Fogle: New lives in the Wild, another Channel 5 hit to tie in with the overall brand positioning.
“It is extremely pleasing to be part of IPN’s growth strategy moving forward as Pooling Partners provides some continuity at a time of incredible change,” said Phil Storer, UK and Ireland director of Pooling Partners.