Yorkshire-based Burgess Pet Care sees sales rise after securing partnership with Paul O’Grady

A YORKSHIRE pet food manufacturer is reaping the benefits of a partnership with celebrity dog owner Paul O’Grady as it gears up for overseas growth.

Paul O'Grady (left) is pictured with Steve Baker who is the MD of Burgess Pet Care.

Burgess Pet Care, which is one of the region’s oldest family firms, saw its turnover rise by five per cent over the last financial year to £20.6m.

Bosses at Goole-based Burgess said they had experienced one of their busiest years after they joined forces with radio and TV celebrity Mr O’Grady, to release a new range of dog food.

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The Paul O’Grady range is made with natural ingredients and includes hypoallergenic recipes that cater for the needs of dogs that struggle with sensitive stomachs and digestion.

The Paul O’Grady dog food is one of the many pet food ranges made by Burgess at the company’s Cherry Tree Mill site in East Yorkshire.

Peter Lancaster, marketing manager at Burgess Pet Care said: “It’s been a fantastic year for Burgess Pet Care and we’re delighted that the business is enjoying such strong periods of growth in a marketplace that is known for being fiercely competitive. We’ve invested considerably to secure the future growth and success of both our staff and the business.

“One of the biggest strengths of the business is our Burgess Excel brand, providing high quality pet foods for the UK’s small animals, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and even chinchillas.

“We recently created the world’s first food for rabbits housed indoors, specifically created to cater for their nutritional needs.”

Mr Lancaster added: “One of our best-selling products, Burgess Excel Long Stem Feeding Hay, is grown by a local farmer and exported to more than 30 countries.

“We always source our products locally where possible and we’re proud that high quality Yorkshire hay is now internationally recognised.”

Burgess has appointed a new export director, Tom Roberts, to ensure continued growth overseas.

A spokesman said: “He is the latest generation of the Burgess family joining the family business and will lead the sales team as they explore new opportunities in international marketplaces.”

Tom Roberts said: “The health and wellbeing of the nation’s pets has always been the key aim of the Burgess family.

“I’m excited to join the business at a time of accelerated growth, as we remain true to the core values and traditions of the business and ensure pet owners are being provided with the highest quality pet foods and the information they need to correctly care for their pets.”

The company is believed to rank among the oldest family firms in the UK. An ancestor of the Burgess family started a milling business in 1649.

Burgess Pet Care also works alongside the UK’s largest animal welfare organisations and charities to educate owners about the best way of looking after their pets.

Burgess has invested heavily in research on animal nutrition.

A spokesman said: “Research with the Royal School of Veterinary Studies linking muesli feeding in rabbits to a series of health issues, which resulted in the delisting of muesli-style products by the UK’s largest pet food retailers.”

Burgess Pet Care also continues to be one of the leading players behind Rabbit Awareness Week. It is a national campaign created by Burgess more than 13 years ago to improve the health and wellbeing of rabbits.

The spokesman said: “Thousands of veterinary practices, pet shops and rescue centres take part in Rabbit Awareness Week every year.

“This year’s campaign takes place between June 1–9.”

Burgess Pet Care’s best selling products include Yorkshire Timothy hay. The hay is grown a few miles away from the Burgess factory, before it is packaged up and shipped to more than 35 countries.

Burgess Pet Care is one of the biggest suppliers of pet food for small animals, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats, ferrets, hamsters and gerbils.

Burgess works with the leading small animal vets in the country to develop food that meets their nutritional needs.

There are a minimum of two pets per staff members in the business.